WILMINGTON — More overdoses than normal have been reported in Wilmington and Blanchester, according to police officials.
Wilmington Detective Scott Baker, who serves on the Greater Warren County Drug Taskforce, said Wilmington has received seven overdose reports in the last four days. One of those that overdosed later died, according to Baker.
The Clinton County Coroner’s Office couldn’t confirm the cause of death because it needs several weeks to determine the primary cause of death due to the need to process lab work.
“We’ve never had that many in that short a time,” Baker said. “We believe, from our investigation, that (the cause is) going to be heroin mixed with fentanyl.”
Fentanyl is an opiate more powerful than morphine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It’s often mixed with heroin to create more of a high and is extremely potent and deadly.
“Often laced in heroin, fentanyl and fentanyl analogues produced in illicit clandestine labs are up to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 30-50 times more powerful than heroin,” said Michelle Leonhart, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, in a nationwide alert issued in March.
As evidence of fentanyl being mixed into heroin, Baker said one of those who overdosed was on probation and had recently tested positive for fentanyl.
Baker said the task force is investigating leads on the case.
Blanchester Police Chief Scott Reinbolt said they’ve received two overdoses in the last seven days. He had heard that one of those had later died. The Wilmington News Journal couldn’t confirm that person’s death, but Clinton County Common Pleas Judge John W. “Tim” Rudduck said in court Friday that two people died recently from using the drug.
Reinbolt said two overdoses in a week is more than usual for the village.
“The deaths speak for themselves,” Reinbolt said.
In Sabina and the unincorporated parts of Clinton County, however, there hasn’t been an increase.
Lieutenant Mike Kassinos, of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, said there have been no reports of overdoses in the unincorporated parts of the county for a week now.
And Sabina Police Chief Keynon Young said they have had fewer reports of overdoses for a month now. He said it’s still too early to tell, but he thinks the department’s new K9 may be deterring criminals from dealing drugs in Sabina.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.