Shelter overwhelmed after spike in overdoses

MT. STERLING, Ky. (WTVQ) – Investigators say a recent rash of overdoses in central Kentucky are linked to a batch of bad drugs.

Last week, Mount Sterling Police say about 12 people overdosed on very strong heroin and at least one died. Now federal investigators say that drug was actually fentanyl, a painkiller that can be up to 50 times more potent than heroin.

Three people have been arrested in connection to bringing the drug into Montgomery County including Robert Lee Shields.

According to court documents, Fields was arrested after an undercover sting in Cincinnati. Investigators say he sold fentanyl to Wesley Hamm, who then gave the drug to Tracey Myers. Myers told investigators she thought it was heroin when she delivered it to people in Mount Sterling.

Fields went before a judge in federal court Wednesday morning. His case was sent to a grand jury.

Shepard’s Shelter in Mount Sterling says it got a lot more calls reaching out for help than usual after the spike in overdoses.

“Unfortunately I suspect there will be other batches like that,” said Victor Bondarenko, a supervisor at the shelter.

The shelter has helped hundreds of addicts find the road to recovery but with the growing heroin problem, Bondarenko says sometimes he feels helpless.

“We need to realize that this is a real problem and that people cannot deal with that problem on their own, by themselves, so it had to be a combined effort of the whole community.”

If you, or someone you know suffers from drug or alcohol addiction:

Shepherd’s Shelter / Ross Rehab
236 Bridgett Drive
Mt. Sterling, KY 40353
Phone: 859-498-7111 or 859-498-7102

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