FACT CHECK: Did Over 13 People Die From ‘Dirty Heroin’ In Tucson In A 48-Hour Period?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

A viral Facebook post shared more than 2,900 times claims that over 13 people died from “dirty heroin” in a 48-hour time span in Tucson, Arizona.

Verdict: False

The Tucson Police Department and Pima County Sheriff’s Office have no record of over 13 people dying from “dirty heroin” in a 48-hour time span. The chief medical examiner for the county said the claim had “no truth.”

 Fact Check: 

The post, which has been shared more than 2,900 times, does not offer any source for its claim that over 13 people died in a 48-hour time span in Tucson from “dirty heroin.”

The Daily Caller didn’t find any media reports about more than a dozen people in Tucson dying from “dirty heroin” in the same 48-hour period, however. Had such an incident happened, it would have been picked up by media outlets, yet none have reported on it. The Tucson Police Department and Pima County Sheriff’s Office haven’t put out any press releases about the alleged deaths either.

A spokesperson for the Tucson Police Department told the Caller via email that the department was familiar with the “social media post going around” but was “not notified of that.” (RELATED: ‘Every Week, 300 Of Our Citizens Are Killed By Heroin’)

“I’m not finding anything on our side to corroborate that story,” Marissa Hernandez, a spokeswoman for Pima County Sheriff’s Office, said in an email to the Caller. She also added that their homicide unit supervisor “is unaware of anything like that occurring in our jurisdiction.”

Dr. Gregory Hess, the chief medical examiner for Pima County, where Tucson is located, told the Caller via email, “No truth to [the] claim and no, never had an instance of 13 people dying from heroin in 48 hours that I am aware of.”

The Arizona Department of Health Services reported 247 verified opioid overdoses in April, with 31 of those overdoses coming from heroin. More than 5,200 people are suspected to have died from opioids in Arizona from June 15, 2017, to May 8, 2020, according to the department’s website.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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