(CNSNews.com) - "Our country is going downhill fast, all because of drugs," a resident of Huntington, West Virginia, was quoted as saying on Monday, as calls started coming in for 26 heroin overdoses -- more than Cabell County normally gets in an entire week, the Huntington Herald-Dispatch reported.
The newspaper said that all 26 heroin overdose patients were revived with naloxone, but in some cases, it took more than one dose of naloxone to revive them becauses the heroin was cut with something very strong. It's not yet clear what that other drug was, but in many cases, heroin is cut with the opioid fentanyl or even a sedative used on elephants.
Most of Monday's 26 overdoses happened in the same area in a six-hour stretch beginning at 3:30 p.m.
The local EMS director urged residents who have heroin to "please see what is going on and don't use it. It could be your last time."
The federal Drug Enforcement Administration says the threat posed by heroin in the United States is serious and has increased since 2007.
"Heroin is available in larger quantities, used by a larger number of people, and is causing an increasing number of overdose deaths," says the DEA's National Heroin Threat Assessment released in June.
In 2014, 10,574 Americans died from heroin-related overdoses, more than triple the number in 2010. Heroin is relatively cheap and it is now used by a broader group of people than it has been in the past.
DEA also says the U.S. heroin market is largely controlled by Mexican traffickers