Jul 9, 2015 6:53 PM
CONCORD - As part of NH1 News continuing coverage of the heroin and opioid epidemic, and upon learning of a possible overdose involving the flesh-eating drug krokodil, reporter Colleen Shaughnessy spoke with police departments around the state to learn more about it’s dangers.
More than half a dozen departments around the state have been aware of the drug krokodil after a warning memo was released six months ago.
Krokodil is an injectable opioid that killed more than 100,000 people in Russia and Ukraine and was first found in the United States in the southwest.
Wednesday, American Medical Response told NH1 News they responded to an overdose call and found a man who said he had been using krokodil.
NH1 News spoke with officers and detectives with Laconia, Rochester, Manchester, Concord, Franklin, Dover, Berlin and Lebanon Police departments, all said they do not know of any krokodil overdoses. All departments expressed concern about the heroin/opioid crisis, and said overdoses and arrests are alarming.
“The concern is the fentanyl, the heroin, the opioids, but we have not seen anything, nor am I aware of anything similar to this,” said Concord Police Lt. Tim O’Malley.
In Berlin responders have used the overdose reversing drug Narcan 21 times since January. The department is looking into providing sharps containers around town after receiving several calls about needles found in parks and public bathrooms.
In Dover, police are calling the heroin/opioid crisis a ‘significant issue.’ Emergency overdose calls come in once or twice a week there.
In Laconia there have been a few suspected krokodil cases, but it was later diagnosed as a wound from the addict injecting several times into the same area, said Drug Detective Kendra Neri.
The Medical Examiner’s office said there have been 132 opioid deaths in the state since January 1st. None of those deaths are determined to be krokodil, which is not part of standard toxicology reports, said Chief Forensic Investigator Kim Fallon. If the skin is eroded at the site of injection, that would be an indication to test for it, said Fallon.
“I urge family members that know loved ones are suffering from addiction to work to get them help, and certainly the state is working as hard as we can to find the source of all of the heroin but especially those drugs that are cut with substances that can do such damage,” said Governor Hassan.
Follow Colleen Shaughnessy on Twitter: @ColleenNH1
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