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Health & Science

'Speedballs' of Fentanyl and Cocaine are Responsible for New Rash of Opiate-Related Deaths

photo of Opiates

As opiate deaths continue to climb in Ohio, yet another deadly drug combination is making its rounds.

The “speedball,” a combination of heroin and cocaine, led to actor John Belushi’s death in the 1980’s. And the Ohio Health Department’s Dr. Mark Hurst says there’s a similar combination that’s responsible for the recent rash of opioid deaths in Ohio now. But this one involves something more potent that heroin.

“The potency of fentanyl is 50 times that of heroin and so it’s even more lethal in a dose than heroin would be.”

Fentanyl deaths more than doubled in the latest stats available from the Ohio Department of Health. More than 4,000 Ohioans died of opioid-related causes last year. And due to the rising deaths caused by this lethal combination, the state is on track to lose more than 5,000 people to overdoses this year.