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New England News

Fentanyl Complicates Vermont Opiate Challenge

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Confirmation that the overdose deaths of two brothers found dead in Burlington last month was caused by the high-powered drug fentanyl has re-focused attention in Vermont on the drug that can be 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Police and public health officials have been warning for months about the dangers of fentanyl — a synthetic narcotic that is sometimes mixed with heroin or used on its own.

State Police Lt. John Merrigan says sellers like to cut heroin with fentanyl because it increases the potency of the drug and they can make more money. He said some users prefer it because it gives them a more potent high.

The Health Department says that heroin and fentanyl-related fatalities have risen sharply since 2013.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.