Cancer painkiller mixed with heroin blamed for 22 Pennsylvania deaths

January 28, 2014 12:24 PM

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Cancer painkiller mixed with heroin blamed for 22 Pennsylvania deaths

(CNN) -- Dr. Karl Williams says he normally sees three or four deaths from drug overdoses in a typical week as the chief medical examiner in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County, which includes Pittsburgh.

In the past week, he saw 15 -- men and women, of various ethnicities, ranging in age from 22 to 53. All of them appear to have been heroin users who instead received a mix of heroin and fentanyl, a powerful narcotic used to treat cancer patients' pain, Williams told CNN.

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