Tainted heroin increasing across St. Louis area - KMOV.com

Tainted heroin increasing across St. Louis area

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(KMOV.com) – A growing influx of heroin, spiked with a painkiller 1000 times as strong as morphine, is overtaking the St. Louis area.

Police arrested 23-year-old Timothy Savage of Franklin County. He was charged with drug possession and the heroin found on him tested positive for the painkiller Fentanyl. Police say there have been four recent drug overdoses directly tied to heroin tainted with Fentanyl. However, the four overdose victims did not die, thanks to medicine that reverses the effects of heroin.

“You don’t have individuals working for multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies doing this,” said Lt. Jason Grellner of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. “You have men and women who, most of the time, are addicts themselves. [They] are barely able to count money and weigh drugs that are now mixing the chemical cocktail that you’re about to shoot in your arm.”

During the past four weeks, narcotics officers have seen an increase In confiscated heroin testing positive for Fentanyl. They believe the price of heroin has gone up at the same time the purity has gone down. Getting the right dosage of Fentanyl for legitimate use requires trained pharmacists using very precise tools.

The drug is absorbed through the skin so they may not know there is Fentanyl on the items they recover until they feel the effects or even have an overdose.

Investigators are currently searching for a second suspect who may have been working with Savage.

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