Our Local Heroin Addiction
- Boalsburg group works to help those battling addiction
- 12 face charges in Blair Co. drug sweep
- 4 charged in alleged bath salts ring in Elk Co.
- 30 charged in Cambria Co. drug sweep
- Several arrested in Huntingdon Co. drug sweep
- Pennsylvania looks to curb painkiller abuse
- Task force to deal with heroin planned in Centre Co.
- Cambria Co. woman pleads guilty to drug possession
- Three people face charges in Cambria Co. drug bust
- Police investigating Blair Co. pharmacy robbery
- Battling prescription drug trafficking an ongoing effort
- AG Kane: Heroin problem in Johnstown is out of control
- Drug-related crimes causing prison population spike
- Jefferson Co. woman arrested, bond set at $5 million
- Officials: Heroin that caused 12 overdoses did not contain fentanyl
- 9 charged in Blair Co. drug sweep
- Authorities warn about batch of heroin linked to 8 overdoses
- Panel held at St. Francis focuses on emerging drug trends
- Heroin mixed with fentanyl is a deadly combination
- 12 heroin overdoses in 72 hours linked to same batch
- Police find large amount of heroin, fentanyl during bust
- Two arrested in Huntingdon heroin bust
- Police searching for man after two homes raided in Johnstown
- 2 arrested, $30K in heroin seized along turnpike in Somerset Co.
- Sage's Army talks heroin addiction to Somerset students
- 22 face charges in Blair Co. drug bust
- St. Francis University to hold panel to continue drug discussion
- Landlords get training to spot drug-dealing tenants
- Argument at Richland Twp. hotel leads police to drug bust
- Heroin: Our Town's Addiction
- 'Heroin: Our Town's Addiction' - A WJAC-TV special
- 'Heroin: Our Town's Addiction' - Part 2
- 7 kilos of raw heroin seized on PA Turnpike
- WEB EXTRA: "Dak's Song"
- Heroin: Our Town's Addiction – Drug Treatment Resources
- Heroin: A story of grief and hope
- 2 arrested for delivering heroin in Altoona
- Two arrested with heroin after Johnstown traffic stop
- Two arrested in State College area burglary spree
Authorities warn about batch of heroin linked to 8 overdoses
By: Maria Miller
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. -- Authorities in Cambria and Somerset counties are investigating after they say at least a dozen people overdosed on heroin within 72 hours. Fortunately, there have not been any reported deaths, but it's putting authorities on high alert.
In just three days, authorities said 12 people in Cambria and Somerset counties were rushed to the hospital after overdosing on heroin, eight of them within only three hours Thursday night.
Fortunately there have not been any reported deaths, but it's putting authorities on high alert. They are warning heroin addicts of a certain stamp bag that may be particularly lethal. And while there's no such thing as "good" heroin, the Cambria County district attorney said Thursday that it's her job to inform addicts and the public when there's a bad batch.
"Fortunately, due to the EMS response, they all lived," said Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan. "None of them died, but we are very concerned that there is bad heroin out there on the streets."
Callihan said all eight overdoses Thursday had a common link. She said they appeared to come from heroin marked with a seven of hearts stamp.
"We're lucky in this situation that we had people call in the overdoses that were with the individuals that overdosed. That's why their lives were saved, but if you're doing this alone and you're going to inject this and nobody is there to call 911 for you, you could die," she said.
But that's something most addicts already know. And it's something experts say, unfortunately, they're okay with.
"They know they can die. What they're hoping is that they go right up there and they're in a deep opiate sleep, barely breathing and they still wake up when they come out of it," said Dr. Kenneth Dickinson, a counselor and prevention specialist from Philadelphia.
"That's what we deal with," Callihan said. "It's really disheartening to know that a lot of times they chase the better high."
The overdoses come just days after a massive heroin bust in Johnstown, where investigators found two vials of liquid fentanyl. It's a drug dealers often mix with the heroin to give a better high and a concoction that's already killed nearly a dozen people in Pennsylvania this year.
"There's some talk whether or not this is the fentanyl-laced heroin or not but we know users will actual chase the fentanyl-laced heroin to get the better high," Callihan said. "It makes no sense to me, but I still feel like it's my job to warn the public that this is out there."
It's not yet clear whether or not the heroin linked to Thursday's overdoses was laced with fentanyl, but authorities said they were able to get retrieve some unused packets that have already been sent to a crime lab for testing. It could still take several days though until those results are complete.