Ohio coroner seeks to compare drugs after overdose spike

CINCINNATI (AP) — A southwest Ohio coroner is hoping a sample of a powerful sedative will help local officials find out what’s behind a recent spike in heroin overdoses.

Hamilton County coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco (LAK’-shmee suh-MAHR’-koh) says she hopes to have a sample of carfentanil (kahr-FEHN’-tuh-nihl) in the coming week, so officials can see whether the drug is involved in the overdoses.

Last month, carfentanil was discovered in the Cincinnati area’s heroin stream. It’s used to sedate elephants.

Sammarco tells the Cincinnati Enquirer (http://cin.ci/2bGEduF ) that Summit County in northeast Ohio has offered to provide a sample.

Cincinnati police have asked for the public’s help in identifying the source of the heroin behind an estimated 78 overdoses on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The newspaper reports Cincinnati police responded to 11 reported overdoses on Friday.


Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com