NH police question potentially more harmful strain of heroin after multiple overdoses
ROCHESTER — Local law enforcement agencies are having difficulties determining if there is a potentially more harmful strain of heroin in circulation due to a state law and state lab backlog.
Rochester police said they are concerned there could be a lethal batch of heroin in the city after three overdoses Friday and a suspected overdose on Sunday. They can't be sure though as there is evidence that will never be tested.
"Just makes us wonder what's out there - is there a bad batch out there of heroin or something like that?" Rochester police Captain Jason Thomas told Fosters. "So it's very concerning to us."
Due to New Hampshire's good Samaritan law, which protects people from facing possession charges when calling for help in the event of an overdose, the people to who reported overdoses on Friday will not be facing any charges.
Thomas added that if there is evidence on the scene of an overdose, such as heroin or needles, the property is destroyed, taking away any chance for it to be tested.
However, because of backlog at the state drug laboratory, investigators know it is not practical to submit evidence for testing that is not involved in a criminal case.
The possible fatal overdose death on Sunday could possibly "shed some light" on the type of drug circulating once toxicology results come back in a few weeks.
An N.H. House finance subcommittee is also analyzing a bill that would provide $171,000 in additional funding for overtime at the state lab. If passed, the bill will head to the full Finance Committee next week.