Manchester and Laconia have seen a recent spike in drug overdoses but officials say it's not because there’s a new, stronger drug on the streets.
In one week – Manchester saw 50 overdoses. And over the weekend – Laconia saw six in just 36 hours.
Given this sharp uptick – some were wondering if the deadly synthetic drug Carfentanil was to blame. But director of the state’s drug lab says they haven’t seen that drug since July.
Chris Hickey is the EMS officer for Manchester Fire. He suspects this high activity was the result of a strong batch of heroin laced with fentanyl.
“There really wasn’t any rhyme or reason to it and then as quickly as it came – it left. I think this week alone we’ve only run 4 overdoses,” Hickey said, adding that the numbers have ebbed and flowed all year.
But, Hickey said, what has been steadily going up is the number of people being helped through the city’s Safe Station Program. On average, Manchester sees 160 people a month coming to the fire stations looking for help for substance abuse.
In total, Manchester has responded to 545 overdoses this year. Laconia, a much smaller city, has seen 90.