Deadly Western Mass. heroin strain repackaged under different names

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PITTSFIELD — An especially deadly mix of heroin that has been claiming lives across Western Massachusetts over the last month has been repackaged under different names, according to the Pittsfield Police Department.

Last week, law enforcement across the region began warning residents to avoid heroin brands donning a stamp that reads "POWER." While bags with the "POWER" stamp continue to be available in Pittsfield, the same mix has been re-packaged with labels that read "Avengers2" and "Redbull," according to a statement from the department.

"These doses of heroin, as well as those stamped "Jumanji" have been responsible for a number of fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the region within the last month," a written statement distributed by Pittsfield Police Cpt. Mark Trapani said.

Law enforcement first began warning users about the especially dangerous mix of heroin last month when, on Nov. 22, the Holyoke Police Department responded to nine overdoses in 16 hours.

One of those overdoses was fatal, according to a statement issued by the department and the Hampden District Attorney's Office.

Police generally avoid identifying brands of heroin, but the Holyoke Police Department said last week that they decided to break normal policy because the "threat of serious harm or death."

"Avoid these bags at all costs," Holyoke Police wrote in their statement.

Haven Orecchio-Egresitz can be reached at horecchio@berkshireeagle.com, @HavenEagle on Twitter and 413-770-6977.

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