Somerville, Mass. (WHDH) — As officers continue to respond to reports of drug overdoses, the Somerville Police Department is highlighting the dangers of synthetic opioids like fentanyl and the resources available to those who need help.
in one Public Service NoticeSomerville PD reported that the department, along with the city’s fire department, has responded to approximately 20 overdose incidents since May 1, with four deaths reported despite naloxone administration.
While police are working to identify possible correlations, according to the department, results from on-site field tests show the majority of cases were caused by synthetic opioids.
The department reiterated the dangers of ingesting these substances and advised family members or friends of addicts to exercise caution when encountering them in an impaired state. Anyone encountering someone who is under the influence of alcohol and is impaired is asked to call 911 immediately because “time and administration of naloxone (narcan) are critical to surviving an overdose,” Somerville PD said .
Individuals who need assistance or have a friend/family member who needs assistance can contact the Somerville Emergency Medical Services Coach Outreach Help Recovery Unit by phone at (617) 625-6600, extension 7281, or visit the unit’s location at 220 Washington St. in Union Square.
“Community health is everyone’s responsibility and we ask the community to help us identify those who are at risk,” the PSA said. “The Somerville Police Department is committed to the general health of the community and not to prosecuting drug addicts.”
The PSA comes weeks after State Health Department announced that the rate of opioid overdose deaths in Massachusetts increased 8.8% between 2020 and 2021, with 2,290 confirmed and estimated opioid-related deaths in 2021, up 185 deaths from the year before.
Preliminary data for the first three months of 2022 showed “551 confirmed and estimated opioid overdose-related deaths,” down 4% from the same period last year.
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