Created: 02/03/2014 6:01 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean
On the same day that Philip Seymour Hoffman died, coincidentally, News10NBC got a warning from a local sheriff about a deadly batch of heroin threatening in the area.
The warning says there is a batch of heroin mixed with a chemical called Fentanyl. The Livingston County Sheriff’s Office says the batch has killed more than 20 people in western Pennsylvania and as many as three in Buffalo. The sheriff’s office say, as far as they know, no one has died from in the Rochester area. But if it’s in Buffalo or western Pennsylvania, the sheriff’s office says the same batch can be in the Rochester area easily and quickly.
Matthew Bean, Livingston County Undersheriff, said, “We do want to send out the warning but we're realistic. We know there is a drug problem. We know people use drugs. Our message is not only to the drug users to be careful, but for their families and the people around them to make sure they're being careful and encourage them that if they do need help, there are resources.”
Livingston County Undersheriff Matt Bean said most people who do heroin started by taking prescription drugs like Oxycontin. Heroin is much cheaper and sometimes more easy to get. The sheriff’s office says the dangerous batches of heroin are coming in little blue bags and they’re stamped with names like Therefly, Blue Ice and Income Tax.
News10NBC went to the Monroe County Crime Lab and talked with forensic chemist Jim Wesley. In 2011, the lab got 98 cases of heroin. That’s the number of times police stopped someone, found heroin and turned it into the lab. In 2012, the number jumped to 259. Wesley says when they put the 2013 numbers together they think they will triple.
Jim Wesley, Monroe County Crime Lab, said, “Heroin is very inexpensive, opiate production is extremely high. So there is a glut of heroin. Once you put that needle in your arm and you push that plunger in there's no going back and unfortunately it could kill you.”
There are ways to get people off their addiction to heroin. There is a recovery clinic at Strong Hospital (585-275-3161) and Council for Alcohol and Substance Abuse (585-991-5012).