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Number of overdoses spikes to 70 on city’s West Side

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CHICAGO – Authorities say there are no more than 70 cases of drug overdoses on Chicago’s West Side in the last 72 hours.

Heroin laced with the painkiller, fentanyl, is responsible.   When the two substances are mixed together it creates an immediate and intense high.

The drug first became prominent in Chicago about 9 years ago, when dozens of people died of overdoses involving drugs laced with fentanyl.

Paramedics and fire department now carry extra doses of an "antidote" drug that can reverse heroin overdoses.  But officials say in most of these cases, one dose has not been enough.