It’s a dangerous and deadly drug, and the number of heroin overdoses in the state continues to climb.
Two cities in the Naugatuck Valley are dealing with four overdoses, two of them deadly, in just 24 hours.
Just this week, Connecticut leaders held a forum about addressing the heroin problem, and as for the overdoses in Derby, detectives are not only trying to get the word out, but also trying to find out who is behind supplying the drug.
On Hawthorne Avenue, Larry Cirkus said he didn’t know what to make of all the police that were seen on his street on Wednesday.
“I thought maybe someone was sick,” he said.
Instead, someone was dead.
Derby police said there were two deadly heroin overdoses—a 24-year-old man and a 30-year-old man.
One overdose was reported on Hawthorne, and the other was a short distance away on Summit Street.
Around the same time, Shelton police were dealing with two overdoses, where the users survived.
"There can be bad batches out there that people are taking and causing immediate overdoses,” said Derby Police Lt. Justin Stanko. “It can be the potency of it, it can be mixed with other things to cut it."
According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the number of heroin, morphine and codeine overdoses in Connecticut is on the rise.
In 2012, there were 195 deaths. That number jumped to 286 the following year. In 2014, the total number climbed to 349, and last year there were 444.
"Anything that's not natural, where chemicals are being produced, in a lab or someone's house, you don't know what’s in there, you don't know the quality of the stuff that's in there and most importantly, you don't know the effect it has on your body,” Stanko said.
Detectives from Derby and Shelton are working with the federal government to try and track down the source, typically brought in from a larger city, with a local dealer supplying the streets.
"It kind of tells you somebody is passing out bad drugs,” Cirkus said. “These kids and even grownups, they need to know that."
While police investigate, State Senator Kevin Kelly will host a local public forum on this addiction crisis, which will take place next month in Shelton.
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