READING, Pa. — A rare weekend rise in overdose cases continues into the week in Reading and across Berks County.
"By noon today (Tuesday), we had over, we had 101 overdoses in our community, our county since Saturday," said District Attorney John Adams.
Adams called it "shocking and astronomical" and said it's putting a strain on the county's healthcare system, as, so far, 71 people have gone to Reading Hospital and 30 to St. Joseph Medical Center.
"Clearly, a bad batch of drugs landed in our community, and we are taking steps to stamp out this problem," Adams said.
Five people are in custody, four of whom have prior charges. A raid Tuesday morning in the 100 block of Walnut Street led to three arrests.
A search warrant executed in the 200 block of North Eighth Street produced 250 blue bags that contain a mix of heroin, a horse tranquilizer and an as-yet-unknown substance that one Reading Hospital doctor called the deadliest.
"Narcan can reverse the effects of opioids or opiates that are present, but Narcan does not reverse the effects of whatever this toxin is," said Dr. William Santoro, the hospital's chief of addiction medicine.
Adams said more arrests could be coming as the investigation continues.
"We are doing everything possible to continue to enforce our drug laws and to stamp out these illicit drugs that are poisoning our community," Adams said.