As New Opioids Spread, Coroners Face A Wave Of Medical Mysteries

Published: Nov 23, 2016

The medical examiners are puzzled, and the bodies aren’t giving up their secrets.

The bodies belong to overdose victims, and when they arrive on autopsy tables here, many are laced with substances that officials have never seen before. Drug screens weren’t designed to identify them.

The drugs are synthetic opioids, a growing collection of chemicals cooked up in labs and responsible for an increasing number of overdose deaths across the country. In this city and elsewhere, they are spinning mysteries for the medical examiners who are called upon to identify them.

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