3 heroin deaths in 19 hours in Harford County

Posted at 4:57 PM, May 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-16 17:26:46-04
A utility worker staying at a Super 8 Motel in Edgewood stays behind in his room as his co-workers go bowling.
A family member later found him dead.
Another man turns up dead inside a vehicle parked at the McDonalds restaurant in Havre de Grace, and a woman is found dead in a home in Edgewood.
That's three deaths in less than 24 hours over the weekend in Harford County, and Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler says the same killer is responsible for all of them.
It's heroin.
"It's frustrating when you continue to see the numbers climb and we're 30 overdoses total ahead of where we were at this point last year, and the three fatalities in the 19-hour period put us past the number that we were at last year in deaths,” Gahler said. “So that's another thing.  We had hoped that number was staying lower with Narcan available on the streets."
But for all of the law enforcers, paramedics and citizens now armed with the anti-overdose drug, in these cases, it was too late to intervene.
"Narcan, although it's a wonderful drug, it's not a miracle in the sense it's going to bring someone back to life and in two of those, individuals were already gone,” said Gahler, “The third one was not in our jurisdiction, but we did send a drug task force investigator down and I know it was related to being in a vehicle so maybe if someone had got to that person sooner they could have been saved."
While all three of the deaths are still under investigation, it does not appear they can be connected to a single dealer or a bad batch of the drug.
The sheriff says today's heroin is just more pure, cheaper, available and as we witnessed in Saturday's triple tragedy, it's can be just as deadly as ever before.
While it does not appear they played a role in these deaths, the emergence of counterfeit oxycodone pills may yet add to the totals.
They are really a mix of heroin, fentanyl and caffeine, and Harford County seized its first batch of the phony painkillers within the last week.

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