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Long Island

Deadly Tainted Heroin on Streets of Long Island; Investigation Into Glassine Packets Stamped ’24K’

Published on January 31, 2014 · Filed Under Uncategorized 


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 by John Colascione

(Long Island, NY) The Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office is investigating several deaths initially assumed to be linked to the abuse of heroin, but in fact were found to have involved the potent narcotic fentanyl.

Evidence associated with two cases has been analyzed by the Forensic Toxicology Laboratory and has been determined to contain fentanyl in combination with the banned antipyretic metamizole. Specifically these glassine packets are stamped as “24K” in red ink.

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According to the Nassau County Medical Examiner’s Office, glassine packets stamped as “24K” in red ink are presumably being distributed as heroin and contain an extremely potent narcotic analgesic fentanyl. Image: Nassau County Medical Examiner.

Fentanyl is a synthetic narcotic analgesic of extremely high potency. Fentanyl is approximately 100 times more potent than morphine, the active ingredient of heroin. Clinically fentanyl is used for the treatment of severe pain or for the induction of anesthesia. Severe respiratory depression may occur with the use of fentanyl. Metamizole is an analgesic and antipyretic that is similar in use to ibuprofen. Metamizole has been banned for use in the US since 1977 due to the potential for the development of agranulocytosis.

There have been several reports indicating that similar tainted heroin has been found in Pennsylvania and may be working its way through Delaware. Although not confirmed at this time, Delaware Police have begun to warn residents of the potential danger.

The Nassau County Medical Examiner has reported these glassine packets marked “24K” presumably being distributed as heroin, in fact contain the extremely potent narcotic analgesic fentanyl. At this time, the Nassau County Medical Examiner has reported this information to Nassau County Police for situational awareness purposes.


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