Nov 302011
Authors: Erin Udell

With the recent spike in possible drug-related deaths over the past few days, Fort Collins has been reminded of the very real and little-known problem of heroin use in northern Colorado.

According to a news release, Fort Collins police are investigating the deaths of two adult men, aged 24 and 29, who possibly overdosed on the drug on Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively.

And while CSUPD is in charge of investigating the death of CSU freshman Sean McGowan, who was in possession of black-tar heroin when he was found in his Summit Hall dorm room Monday morning, FCPS spokeswoman Rita Davis said the Fort Collins police are aware of the case.

Currently, there is no evidence to indicate any of the cases are connected, according to the release.

According to Davis, the Larimer County Coroner’s Office has documented four heroin-related deaths this year, with the most recent three pending toxicology reports. Last year saw three heroin overdose deaths while 2009 had two.

“With three (deaths) in three days, it appears that there’s been a possible influx of heroin on the streets that we don’t know if it’s too pure or too strong,” said Greg Fairman, deputy coroner investigator for the Larimer County Coroner’s Office. “There’s always that possibility.”

While heroin overdoses aren’t as uncommon in Larimer County as one may think, Davis said, the past few days marks an unusual number of deaths, which can usually be stopped by Naloxone, or Narcan, a medicine used by paramedics to reverse the effects of an overdose.

“Basically, because of the recent deaths, we wanted to make people aware that there is a presence of heroin in Larimer County,” Davis said. “There always has been.”

News Editor Erin Udell can be reached at

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