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With a total of 9 heroin overdoses in Culpeper County in the last week (and more than 24 in April alone), it is clear that some additional lethal factor may be at play.

The Culpeper County Sheriff, Scott Jenkins, announced Thursday that this concerning increase is likely due to a particularly strong batch of heroin that has been circulating in the area. They are uncertain as to whether the heroin is just particularly strong, or if it may be laced with fentanyl (as is the case in many areas recently). The danger here is, heroin users have no idea exactly what they are taking when they are using the drug. With so many factors at play, such as strength, potency, ratio of drug to “filler” substances, and whether any other lethal drugs such as fentanyl are included, the odds of overdose increase exponentially.

The Sheriff’s Office requests that citizens be aware of the symptoms of heroin abuse, remain vigilant if they suspect abuse in a friend or a loved one, and call 911 if an overdose is even suspected.