The Monroe County Medical Examiner's Office says 65 people died in the Rochester region in 2013 because of heroin overdoses. That's more than double the 29 who died from overdosing on heroin in 2012.
Public awareness of heroin abuse has been focused by the death of actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman. The Fairport native died of a suspected heroin overdose.
The most recent numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that the number of recorded heroin overdose deaths nearly doubled in the decade between 2000 and 2010. Authorities say a number of factors are fueling the resurgence of heroin abuse -- including relatively low prices, and a less demonized image than the drug once had.
The M-E's Office also says investigators are looking into nine deaths that ocurred between December 5th and January 21st that appear to be the result of overdosing on heroin mixed with the prescription painkiller fentanyl (FEN-ta-nill). The synthetic morphine substitute is used to cut heroin for sale on the street and it's been responsible for a number of deaths in western Pennsylvania in the past few weeks.