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Police Investigating Recent Spike in Heroin Overdoses

A high number of heroin overdoses, including fatalities, have been reported in Massachusetts in the last two weeks.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Police in Massachusetts are investigating what’s behind a recent spike in heroin overdoses, according to a Boston Globe report.

Attleboro Police Chief Kyle Heagney told the Globe that usually his department gets one or two overdose calls a month, but in the last two weeks, it’s been getting at least one a day. A 28-year-old Attleboro woman apparently died from a heroin overdose Friday; three people have recently died from overdoses in Taunton, the Globe reports.

Possible explanations, according to the Globe:

  • A pure/powerful heroin is being distributed
  • The heroin being distributed has another drug in it, which has increased its toxicity
  • People are using multiple drugs simultaneously

New Hampshire has seen a similar spike, with multiple overdoses in Salem and Portsmouth.

Read the full Boston Globe report >>

Maddie Chambers February 06, 2014 at 05:48 PM
Could people just be noticing this more now, or at least finally vocalizing it just because of the prominent actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman's death of a heroin overdose that has just been in the news?
Frosty the Snowman February 06, 2014 at 11:40 PM
It's called a knee jerk reaction Maddie, give it two weeks people will move onto the new flavor of the month.
Maddie Chambers February 06, 2014 at 11:51 PM
Very true Frosty.
GrampaJoe February 07, 2014 at 11:45 AM
Frosty. Read this and then tell us it's not a problem. Opioid overdose is a serious public health problem in Massachusetts. Two people die from opioid overdoses every day in Massachusetts. More people are killed by opioid overdoses in Massachusetts than by car accidents. In 2007, there were over 6 times more deaths due to opioid-related overdoses than in 1990. For every death due to an opioid overdose in 2007, there were 47 people who were treated for an overdose and lived. In 2003, 2 out of 3 (66%) opioid-related deaths in Boston Were caused by the misuse of opioids other than heroin, such as OxyContin and other prescription drugs.In Fiscal Year 2007, there were 18,015 people who were treated for an overdose and lived. The cost for people being hospitalized due to opioid dependence, abuse, and/or overdose totaled more than $239 million in 2007.In 1992, 325 people were treated for abuse of opioids other than heroin (such as OxyContin and other prescription drugs). In 2002, that number jumped to 3,089 people. This is a 950% increase.
its me February 07, 2014 at 01:34 PM
bow Do I miss Dr Wang
Frosty the Snowman February 07, 2014 at 03:24 PM
Hey Joe did I say it's not a problem? Nope. It's the flavor of the week because the guy from Hunger Games died. If he had a untreated diabetes that would be in the news this week. Thanks for the stats though.
its me February 07, 2014 at 04:15 PM
Heroin is taken over our schools ,middle and high schools
Curious February 12, 2014 at 07:45 PM
This is a national problem and our first responders need be trained and carry naloxone, the narcotic antagonist used to reverse the respiratory depression caused by narcotics. What most people do not realize is that these are not just heroin users, while there number is increasing, more people die annually from the accidental overdose of prescription narcotics. It is the abuse of such "prescription" drugs that eventually leads to heroin and cocaine use.
Curious February 12, 2014 at 07:48 PM
That should read "die from accidental overdose of prescription narcotics than die in motor vehicle accidents". Sorry for that omission of an important fact.
Prometheus February 13, 2014 at 10:43 AM
It is a personal problem....that is nation wide.....but the problem is of a personal nature...unless you are suggesting there are "terrorist heroine needle stickers" injecting random people? No? It is a personal problem.
Curious February 14, 2014 at 06:08 PM
And that would make DUI a personal problem as well. I'm sure that makes the families who have lost someone due to an MVA caused by a drunk driver feel a lot better about it.
JohnnyMass February 16, 2014 at 09:28 AM
Don't stick a needle in your arm, and you won't OD. Simple. Now, should I explain to you how not to contract AIDS?

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