2005_08_drugdeaths2.jpgThe Department of Health (and Mental Hygiene) and NYPD are considering the possibility that the same heroin may have killed six New Yorkers over the past week and a half. The deaths have been concentrated in downtown Manhattan, with people discovering overdose victims since last week:

Wednesday (8/10): 24 year-old man in his Avenue B apartment
Friday: Two 18 year-old girls on East Houston Street (pictured)
Friday: 25 year-old man on roof of East 7th Street apartment building
Saturday: Homeless man in portable toilet at Pier 54
Monday: 42 year-old homeless man in a mini storage facility on Spring Street

The police think the heroin may have been laced with an anesthetic, and both the DoH and NYPD are trying to remind the public that doing any kind of drugs, whether "pure" or adulterated, can lead to death. The last time some bad heroin killed a number of people was in 1991, with 12 deaths and 100 poisonings in the NYC metro area. Some sources say there are more deaths to be linked. If anything, it's giving the East Village and Lower East Side that gritty burnishment as a drug haven once again; the Daily News reports that the $15 bag of "Eden" is popular.

The Department of Health had some contact information: Poision Control is (800) 222-1222 or (212) POISONS; Harm Reduction Coalition (for drug treatment) is at (212) 213-6376 and www.harmreduction.org; and LIFENET (for help facing drug abuse) is at (800) LIFENET (1-800-543-3638). The NYPD says they will concentrate on stopping street sales of heroin and they are looking for tips and information related to the deaths - call (800) 577-TIPS.