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Friday, August 2, 2013

Fentanyl Overdoses Worry Pennsylvania Officials

Nidia Flores recalls rushing out of a friend's house in Philadelphia's Kensington neighborhood after injecting what she thought was pure heroin, and immediately passing out in the snow between two cars. (Elana Gordon/WHYY)

Nidia Flores recalls rushing out of a friend’s house in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood after injecting what she thought was pure heroin, and immediately passing out in the snow between two cars. (Elana Gordon/WHYY)

So far this year, 50 people have died in Pennsylvania from fentanyl-related overdoses.

Fentanyl is a prescription drug — an opiate more powerful than morphine.

It is often used to treat cancer patients experiencing extreme pain. An illicit, non-prescription version of fentanyl led to hundreds of deaths in Pennsylvania in 2006.

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Elana Gordon of WHYY reports that state health and drug enforcement officials are worried it’s on the rise again.

Reporter

  • Elana Gordon, health and science reporter for WHYY. She tweets @Elana_Gordon.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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