Public Safety Advisory on Heroin

NEWS RELEASE #: 16-140

The Sarasota County Sheriff's Office is warning citizens about synthetic-laced heroin after several recent overdoses on the Suncoast.

Since July 1, the sheriff's office has responded to 14 overdoses, two of which were fatal. Investigators warn users that heroin seized locally has traces of fentanyl and carfentanil, a synthetic opioid drug with nearly 10,000 times the potency of morphine.

In an effort to bring awareness to the deadly drug, the sheriff's office is reissuing a Public Safety Announcement (PSA) which originally launched in August 2015, about the dangers of heroin. In light of the recent trend, the video encourages people to call 911 if someone overdoses, which is a reference to the Good Samaritan law. The PSA also directs those struggling with addiction to resources for help. The 30-second PSA is viewable on the agency web site, YouTube channel and social media pages.

"This warning is a reminder for the public that these deadly drugs have made their way into our community and can have deadly effects," said Sheriff Tom Knight. "This is a serious problem and one that we don't take lightly."