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New Nalaxone-resistant heroin may be as close as Rochester

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Posted at 10:02 AM, May 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-10 10:02:47-04

Emergency workers in Rochester say there is evidence that Nalaxone-resistant heroin may have made its way to the area from Chicago and Pittsburgh, according to WHAM in Rochester.

The new form of heroin is laced with a synthetic additive and prevents overdose drugs, like Nalaxone, from working, according to the ABC affiliate.

Chief Matt Comer of Greece Volunteer Ambulance told WHAM that overdose victims need more and more of the antidote to come out of the overdose. The treatment that is supposed to work is of no help, Chief Comer says.

Officials and first responders are already concerned about fentanyl laced heroin. Now a new synthetic drug, acrylfentanyl, makes heroin 100 times more potent than morphine, according to WHAM.

WHAM reports acrylfentanyl has been linked to 44 deaths in Chicago and more in Pittsburgh, because of its resistance to Nalaxone.

Chief Comer tells WHAM there are instances that require five to six times a normal dosage of Nalaxone to help someone who has overdosed.

Acrylfentanyl is too new to know whether or not it has caused any deaths in the Rochester area yet, but there are enough patients needing multiple doses of Nalaxone to raise concerns, according to the Rochester news outlet.

Chief Comer tells WHAM some patients need a double IV dose, which is already more potent than the traditional Nalaxone that is administered.

WHAM says China will ban the manufacture of acrylfentanyl and other synthetic opioids, which the Drug Enforcement Agency says will cut the supply headed to the U.S. by 60%.

Some emergency crews are now carrying more Nalaxone doses in case just one doesn't do enough to help the patient, according to WHAM. For families who wish to do the same as a precaution, it will cost them hundreds of dollars every time they need it.