More potent and deadly heroin makes its way to the streets

More potent and deadly heroin has made its way to the streets of our region with catastrophic results for drug users and added pressure on first responders.

"We actually found someone right here on the corner," said Camden county police Lt. Zsakhiem James while on a driving tour of Camden's heroin overdoses with FOX 29's Bruce Gordon.

"Laid out."

Given the increasing potency and deadliness of heroin here, there is plenty to see.

Today's heroin is more likely than ever to be cut with poisonous additives like Fentanyl and Carfentenil.

The result? The number of overdoses in the city of Camden is actually down a bit from last year.

But in 2016, roughly 9% of heroin overdoses led to death. This year, nearly 26% were fatal.
And those life-saving Narcan kits are less effective against the more potent heroin. Patrol officer Louis Trocchio has saved several overdose victims. Trocchio says a year or two ago, one dose of Narcan was usually enough to revive an overdose victim.

"It is taking both containers and EMSs to bring them back."

Trocchio says the users of the additive-laced drug are easy to spot.

"The coloring is very pale," he says. "Their lips start turning blue. It's a lot like the hypothermia look."

Tragically, Camden cops say the more potent the heroin, the more attractive it's become.

"It's the drug that makes you want more of it. Even if it kills you," Lt. James said.