An alert was sounded Wednesday in the crisis of heroin and opiate overdoses in Massachusetts.
For the first time, a potent mix of heroin and the drug fentanyl is showing up in the streets of Boston.
Boston Public Health Commission's executive director, Barbara Ferrer, says fentanyl is an even more powerful opiate than heroin. She says it's unfortunate because opioid addicts don't know what they're getting when they have the drug.
"It's not like you're buying a product and it's labeled, you know, what percentage of this product has heroin, what percentage of it is something else. So every time that they use, they're taking a risk and in this case, with fentanyl, it's a risk that really magnifies their likelihood of overdose," she explains.
Ferrer says the spike of people using heroin can be contributed to a lot of factors.
"We've got a lot of complex factors playing into this, but ... heroin is relatively cheap and inexpensive and easy to get," she said.