SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) – The Sonoma County Coroner’s office issued a warning Tuesday of an alarming number of suspected heroin overdose deaths in the past ten days, authorities said.
According to a press release issued by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s office, the county coroner has investigated five deaths attributed to likely heroin overdoses in the space of a week and a half.
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The release noted that the final cause of death has not been determined in any of the cases, authorities wanted to go public with the information to warn locals of the disturbing trend.
The coroner’s office noted that all five fatalities happened in the Santa Rosa area.
Heroin isn’t a new problem in Santa Rosa, but the recent number of overdose deaths is.
“There’s something in a batch of heroin right now that’s not good,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Spencer Crum.
Of the victims, three were males and three of the five were transients, according to Crum. The ages of the deceased are 65, 52, 30, 28 and 27.
The demographics of each victim are very different, but authorities are busy trying to run down what they all have in common.
Toxicology will be checking for fentanyl or any other drug that could be mixed with the heroin.
The office said there are concerns that the heroin being distributed in Santa Rosa is extremely volatile and potentially toxic. The coroner warned all health, rehabilitation and treatment centers should be aware of the potentially dangerous drug and take any possible signs of overdose among patients very seriously.
The coroners office advises that anyone exhibiting signs or symptoms of heroin overdose should seek medical treatment immediately and call 9-1-1 if necessary.