CDC to Help Ohio Deal With Deadly Twist to Heroin Epidemic

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are helping Ohio find solutions to a wave of overdose deaths caused by a powerful painkiller mixed with heroin.

CDC doctors plan to arrive in the state Monday at the request of the Department of Health and could be in Ohio for several weeks

The painkiller, fentanyl, is 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin. Ohio experienced 502 fentanyl-related deaths last year, up from 84 the year before.

The CDC will compare victims of fentanyl overdoses with people who died from painkillers and heroin and figure out what puts people at risk for fentanyl overdoses and how to prevent them.

The CDC plans visits to health centers in Cuyahoga, Hamilton and Montgomery counties and the city of Portsmouth.