BUFFALO, New York (WABC) --Officials in one upstate New York county are sounding the alarm about an especially deadly batch of heroin.
Erie County leaders have linked the drug to seven overdose deaths in 24 hours.
It's believed a very lethal dose of some substance was possibly added to a batch of heroin.
"We know that something is on the street that is killing people at a much higher rate than you normally would see," Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.
The Erie County Prosecutor is vowing to charge dealers with murder if their drugs are linked to an overdose death.
Health officials are urging people and businesses in the Buffalo area to keep Narcan on hand, which counteracts an overdose.
The average age of the people who died was 32.
Poloncarz said the county averaged 5.8 deaths per week in 2016. In 2017, the number has increased to 6.8 deaths per week.