Forms of "pink heroin" less responsive to overdose reversal drug

Posted at 8:22 PM, Aug 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-05 16:23:39-04

The fentanyl combination drug known as “pink heroin” is resurfacing in parts of Northeast Ohio and is becoming more resistant to the overdose reversal drug Naloxone, local drug task forces said.

Pink heroin is largely made up of the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl and takes on a pink and purple hue due to they way it’s cut and processed.

In 2014, 26 overdoses in Lorain County in a 72-hour period were linked to pink heroin.

While it’s circulation was down, drug task forces are starting to see the drug in circulation again, this time with new, more potent ingredients.

“It might take a double dose or more of the Narcan [naloxone] to treat the patient,” said Detective Olen Martin, a narcotics detective with the Lorain Co. Drug Task Force, who gained first hand experience treating the drug 18 months ago when it first surfaced.

Emergency responders have used as many as 8 doses of the reversal drug when treating fentanyl-related overdoses.

The TAG Law Enforcement Task Force told that some overdose patients are becoming completely unresponsive to the reversal drug.