Authorities in Jersey say a batch of heroin stamped “Mega Million” has caused several fatal overdoses.

(FotoMaximum, ThinkStock)
(FotoMaximum, ThinkStock)

It’s believed some of the heroin is laced with fentanyl, an opiod painkiller that is so strong it’s usually only given to cancer patients with weeks or days to live.

Ocean County Prosecutor Joe Coronato says heroin combined with fentanyl is extremely dangerous, because it’s 100 times more powerful than morphine, and when its ingested “the body shuts down, breathing shuts down, the heart shuts down.”

He said even if first responders arrive on the scene quickly, “by the time they get to use the narcan the body has been shut down for so long and there’s such a high level, a lot of times the narcan will not bring that person back. Fentanyl is a deadly drug.”

“Whenever you buy a drug from a drug dealer you have no idea how it was manufactured or what’s contained in that envelope and you’re always playing Russian roulette," Coronato said. "The bottom line is it’s probably a deadly drug that you’re going to be consuming.”

He said stamps on heroin like "Mega Million" are used as a marketing tool to try and boost sales, because users think it’s very powerful. However, more and more heroin is being sold with no marking or stamps at all.

Angelo Valente, the executive director of the Partnership for a Drug Free New Jersey, says it’s alarming that more and more heroin is being laced with fentanyl.

“It really is a wildcard as to what people are purchasing on the street," Valente said. "This is a wakeup call hopefully for many individuals that they need to seek treatment, they need to get help.”

Click below to view our exclusive, five-part “Heroin Wasteland” series, which discusses New Jersey's ongoing heroin epidemic:

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