Examiner: Philadelphia had 35 heroin deaths in 5 days

Unknown whether this heroin was more potent than normal

The Philadelphia medical examiner’s office says several heroin deaths reported over the weekend might have been part of a bigger problem: as many as 35 deaths in five days.

Police spokesman Lieutenant John Stanford told Philly.com that packaging from the various scenes suggests the heroin likely responsible for the deaths came from various sources. Investigators aren’t sure whether the heroin was more potent than normal, whether it was mixed with powerful painkillers like fentanyl or some combination of the two.

The overdoses began December 1 when 12 people died between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m., a spate of deaths that Chief Medical Examiner Sam Gulino says the city has never seen before.

The rest of the deaths occurred through Monday.

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