At least 22 people in Pennsylvania have died from heroin overdoses in the past two weeks, and doctors say tainted heroin is to blame.
Doctors say that the heroin is being mixed with fentanyl, an opioid that can be up to 100 times stronger than heroin, NPR is reporting.
All of the reported deaths have been in Western Pennsylvania.
This information comes on the heels of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman’s tragic death from an apparent heroin overdose over the weekend. He was 46.
There has been no indication that tainted heroin was to blame for Hoffman’s death. His official cause of death has not been released.
One issue public health officials deal with when it comes to tainted batches of drugs is that drug users often will seek out the tainted, more powerful drug mixtures, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University told NPR.
NPR says that public officials in Western Pennsylvania are trying to educate addicts about the signs of overdose so that they can seek help before it’s too late.
Police so far have made a handful of arrests, NPR said, but officials said the tainted drugs are still on the streets.