Officials working to figure out what’s in the tainted drugs

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — While the overdose total continues to rise in New Haven, investigators are trying to figure out exactly what is in the new bathtub drug that was sold as cocaine, but mixed with an opioid.

East Hartford’s Deputy Chief Beau Thurnauer says their investigation has been looking overseas in other countries.Related Content: New Haven City officials issue emergency public health warning

“In China, the chemists are taking these molecules apart and they are re-configuring them and they’re shipping it back through Mexico,” said Thurnauer.

So, how so they track and resolve this? Thurnauer says with a statewide law enforcement effort. Narcotics agents are sharing information with other law enforcement throughout the region and even the country, so as the drugs continue to change, law enforcement can keep up.

“So, we have somebody on the DEA Task Force in East Hartford, and somebody on the ATF Task Force and the FBI, and we have our own vice and narcotics unit, everybody works together. It’s very regional,” said Thurnauer.Web Extra: 8 things to know about Narcan

While doctors and police try to find out exactly what this drug is, Dr. Craig Allen from Rushford says the biggest problem with these drugs is dealers start mixing them and try to come up with a synthetic and that is when it becomes extremely dangerous.

“If you have a lab, these are relatively simple to make. And who knows where they are coming from. They come from China or Mexico or maybe even synthesized here in the United States, you don’t know what they are and when the medical personnel get involved they may not know what is there,” said Allen.

In the case of the latest overdoses in New Haven, Narcan will work and did save lives as the new drug was cut with some type of opioid. The problem, it took 3 to 5 doses of the Narcan to bring some of them back. Doctors say always call 911 before giving the Narcan.

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