15 heroin overdoses reported over Labor Day weekend - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

12 dead in 15 heroin overdoses over Labor Day weekend

More warnings are coming from state health officials in the deadly fight against heroin after 12 people died in 15 overdoses over Labor Day weekend in Kentucky. (Source: WAVE 3 News) More warnings are coming from state health officials in the deadly fight against heroin after 12 people died in 15 overdoses over Labor Day weekend in Kentucky. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - More warnings are coming from state health officials in the deadly fight against heroin after 12 people died in 15 overdoses over Labor Day weekend in Kentucky. 

Doctors at the Department of Public Heath said half died in rural areas, the other half in urban areas including Louisville. In the northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area the problem has gotten so bad, that a judge Wednesday offered immunity from prosecution for those who turn in deadly heroin in Hamilton County.

"It's troubling and saddening that 12 souls in the state of Kentucky lost their lives to this epidemic," said Dr. Connie White, the Deputy Senior Commissioner for clinical affairs in the Department of Public Health.

White said hospitals around the Commonwealth voluntarily reported those 12 deadly overdoses, that's why White said there could be more.

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"This is not hard cold data," she said.

Now some law enforcement officials believe the northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area is being used as a target area when it comes to the lethal mix of heroin and the synthetic opioid Carfentanil, a drug used to tranquilize elephants.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil told reporters of the amount of product, "I would speculate there's probably enough product to put half of Cincinnati to sleep."

The result has been so deadly a judge Wednesday signed an unprecedented offer of blanket immunity in the greater Cincinnati area after 174 overdoses in 6 days.

Prosecutor Joe Deters told the judge of the request for immunity, "Ultimately, we have to stop the supply."

It's so deadly, Sheriff Neil said, DEA drug dogs can't sniff the envelopes it's coming in.

"It's gotten to the extent that I have to assume that the product we have now on the streets is probably more than likely cut with Carfentanil and we will not field test it," he said, "it's that dangerous."

The judge agreed anyone who turns it in, like a wife whose husband is an addict to a father whose son is using, can do so without the fear of prosecution.

Coroner Dr. Laksmi Sammarco added, "Bring it in, turn it in, that's all were asking get it off the streets, get it out of your homes."

Dr. White said it has never been more important for people to get Naloxone. You can find out about Naloxone and addiction treatment at the Rally for Recovery on Saturday from Noon until 2:30 p.m. at the Muhammad Ali Center.

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