Nearly 75 overdoses in 72 hours; laced heroin may be to blame

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Police are investigating if the apparent drug overdose death of a man on the 3300 block of West Ohio Street on Oct. 2, 2015, is related to possibly tainted batches of heroin. (John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

CHICAGO — Authorities in Chicago say a recent rise in heroin overdoses is continuing to climb.

Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford says there were 74 overdoses between Tuesday night and Friday night.

The Chicago Tribune reports that some patients turned up at Mount Sinai Hospital with needles still stuck in their arms.

City health and fire officials suspect heroin laced with the powerful painkiller fentanyl is to blame for the sudden jump, as it was in 2006.

The Drug Enforcement Administration is helping try to determine the source of the drugs.

No deaths have been reported from the overdoses.

But Mount Sinai emergency room director Diane Hincks says patients have required double and triple doses of the heroin antidote Narcan.

Paramedics have been given extra Narcan to carry with them.