3 overdoses in one day spark fears of 'contaminated' heroin in Ramsey Co.

At least two of the victims were saved by Narcan.
Publish date:

Authorities in Ramsey County are alerting the public about a potentially bad batch of heroin following three overdoses in the area on Saturday. 

A press release from the sheriff's office says all three overdoses occurred within "less than six hours" of each other in the northern suburbs. 

Two happened in Shoreview, and the third happened in White Bear Township. 

“At this time, the Sheriff’s Office is concerned there may be a batch of heroin which contains even more dangerous substances and chemicals," Jeff Ramacher, Undersheriff of Public Safety Services, said in the release. 

“While all illegal drugs are dangerous and pose the risk of serious injury or death to the user, the fact these many overdoses occurred so close together is especially alarming and a sign that these drugs may be contaminated.”

The sheriff's office says all three victims received Narcan, or naloxone, a nasal spray that counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose

Two of the individuals are said to have been "saved" by the treatment, while the third is "currently being evaluated."

Tainted batches of heroin are not unusual; last year in St. Paul, five people suffered overdoses in the space of 36 hours, with police blaming the incidents on heroin laced with other chemicals to make them "even more hazardous and deadly."

According to American Addiction Centers, heroin is often cut with a wide variety of substances, ranging from baking soda and talcum powder to more dangerous ingredients like laundry detergent, crushed over-the-counter painkillers, and rat poison. 

The organization also says that "heroin can be anywhere between 3 and 99 percent pure, making the effects of any batch highly unpredictable."

Another issue is heroin cut with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid said to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. 

According to the CDC, black-market fentanyl "is often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine as a combination product—with or without the user’s knowledge—to increase its euphoric effects."

Saturday's overdoses in Ramsey County are under investigation. 

Next Up

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2

Minnesota confirms America's 1st case of Brazil P.1 COVID strain

The strain was found in a Twin Cities metro resident who recently traveled to Brazil.


Gov. Walz announces education plan aimed at eliminating disparities

The plan covers seven categories, including closing the racial education gap and improving opportunities in rural Minnesota

Tax forms

Charges: Otsego cleaning business underreported sales

An Otsego woman is accused of owing more than $20,500 in sales tax, penalties and interest.

Screen Shot 2020-04-17 at 2.58.26 PM

Walz gives vaccine providers 3-day, 7-day deadlines to use doses

Those that don't use their allocation will be given less in the future.


Border officers seize more than $550K in counterfeit designer goods

The shipments of fake goods were seized on Jan. 22.

Landfill plastic bags

4 Twin Cities landfills seek to expand capacity

This comes as the area's waste-to-energy facilities are operating at capacity.

Marcus Carr

3 of 10 finalists for NCAA's top point guard award have MN ties

Not a bad way to represent the State of... Basketball?

Justice, court

Minnesota grants unconditional pardon to grandmother facing deportation

Gov. Tim Walz says it's the first full pardon granted by the state in 35 years.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota changes vaccine appointment process, here's what to know

Walz also announced plans for a mass vaccination event at Xcel Energy Center.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, Jan. 25

The latest figures from MDH have been released.

covid-19, vaccine

Minnesota health leaders say state's vaccine progress better than figures suggest

Minnesota is lagging behind national vaccination rates, but MDH leaders say this is because it's holding 2nd doses in reserve.


Anoka Co. has at least 3 OD deaths over last 10 days

The local sheriff says the county sees "4-6 heroin overdoses every day."

St. Paul PD issues warning after 6 overdoses in one day

Police suspect the substance may have been laced with fentanyl.

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 11.01.36 AM

Overdose deaths involving opioids, other drugs fell in MN last year

It's welcome news, but health officials say overdose rates are still at historic highs.