ZUGIBE: Wild Horse [Heroin] Runs Rampant in Rockland

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Beatnicks, such as former Rockland Psychiatric resident Allen Ginsberg, called heroin “the horse” in the 1950s, perhaps accidentally popularizing the often lethal and life-nullifying narcotic. After falling out of favor for decades the worst drug of them all has made a comeback in recent years, claiming dozens of lives or more in Rockland, most unreported to the public. Rockland’s DA is warning that the horse is running particularly wild in the county at this time.

DA Tom Zugibe and Town of Clarkstown Police Chief Michael Sullivan on Monday issued a dangerous drug threat alert related to several recent overdoses that have occurred throughout local communities. The overdoses are believed to be linked to an extremely potent batch of heroin currently being distributed across Rockland County that may contain fentanyl, a narcotic that is one-hundred times more potent than morphine.

The fentanyl-laced heroin is believed to be responsible for several reported overdoses in Rockland County, including overdoses that led to death in New Jersey.

“This is not the first batch of heroin that is of concern,” said District Attorney Zugibe. “Any heroin has the consequence of being deadly and cut at varying levels with other drugs that only the unscrupulous dealer knows the amount and purity of the package. If you know someone who is using heroin, please make an effort to get them help through our substance abuse centers like the Rockland Council on Alcoholism & Other Drug Dependence Inc.” From January 1, 2015 through June 10, 2015, in the Town of Clarkstown, officers responded to 28 reported heroin overdose calls and administered Narcan in 20 of those cases. As a result of these geographic and usage trends, it is expected that Clarkstown and Rockland County in general will experience a substantial increase in overdoses during the next few months.

Said Clarkstown Police Chief Sullivan, “If it wasn’t for Narcan, we would be facing a public health crisis in our community. We know we’re saving lives, but targeting the sale of heroin through increased enforcement and prosecution is the only surefire way to reduce overall overdose incidents. This particular batch of heroin is extremely potent, even deadly. If someone you know is using heroin, help them find treatment today.”

The presence of Fentanyl will be a significant contributing factor, and this will create a substantial increased risk to residents and responding officers. Further, it is reasonable to anticipate the “Red Devil” stamp will be the first of the various Fentanyl/heroin packaging to reach the County.

New Jersey has seen three identifying “stamps” on heroin packaging which have turned out to be either a mix of or pure Fentanyl. These three stamps are “Best Buy,” “Red Devil,” and “Bugatti.” Upstate New York has seen a similar increase in overdoses, primarily from the “Red Devil” stamped Fentanyl laced heroin. Multiple cases were fatal.


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