Wave of deadly heroin overdoses hits Lorain Co.

Posted at 4:36 PM, Mar 07, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-07 18:27:55-05

In just the last two weeks, the city had 14 people overdose on heroin or heroin mixed with the painkiller fentanyl. A fourth person died in Wellington and two more people died in Lorain on Monday.

Elyria police arrested five men suspected of selling the drugs.

The Lorain County Sheriff's Drug Task Force arrested 26-year-old David Hollis and charged him with involuntary manslaughter in connection with one of the heroin deaths.

"To say it's an epidemic is almost an understatement, we're really inundated with this," said Detective Jim Larkin with the Task Force.

Larkin said they're seeing more fentanyl being mixed with heroin, a deadly combination.

"The fentanyl is 40 to 50 times more potent than heroin," Larkin said.

But instead of a stronger high, Larkin said they're finding addicts who dropped dead with the needle still in they're arm.

Larkin said a woman addicted to heroin told him she will do anything to get money to buy the drug.

"She said, I shoplift, I prostitute myself, I steal from my family, I steal from the neighbors, I break into cars, I go into mailboxes. Basically if it means breaking into houses while you're away at work that's what they're going to be doing. They just need that money its their number one priority," Larkin said.

Police said one of the people who overdosed was taken to MetroHealth Medical Center in critical condition.

On Monday, while doing this story, three more people overdosed in the city of Lorain. Two of them died.