WEST YARMOUTH – Several police squad cars, a fire engine, and ambulance… with crews, all rushed to a residential duplex after a male was discovered unconscious suffering an apparent overdose last evening. It was uncertain whether he was breathing or not, and the response was described as “priority one.”
First responders revived the patient in time and he reportedly was able to walk out to the ambulance on his own.
Police officers remained on scene speaking with others present, investigating what has become a very routine call, albeit very serious and very life-threatening.
This latest brush with death comes at time when overdoses are plaguing the mid-Cape area at alarming rates, 24/7, on a daily basis…
… sometimes back-to-back and certainly every shift, at least somewhere.
This past Friday, the YPD reported 2 heroin overdoses in a span of just 10 minutes!
A 23-year-old female was found overdosed in a car parked at the Shaw’s on Rte. 28; then about 9 minutes later, a 33-year-old male was discovered overdosed in a backyard on Vacation Lane.
About four weeks ago, the Barnstable Police responded to a total of 5 overdoses in under 9 hours; all 5 patients were revived. (You may click here to see a little bit of HN Video from that evening…)
(HN NOTE: There likely have been several other mind-blowing examples like those above within the past month or so, but HN just so happened to be out all night specifically documenting overdoses that one particular evening in Barnstable, confirming findings with the more mature, cooperative police sources. We have some very helpful cops out there and their cooperation has been duly noted and greatly appreciated, not just by HN, but by the thousands of local HN Readers who need to know. Now is not the time for certain police record keepers to be secretive and difficult to deal with when asked about what’s going on. Now is the time for police to be more forthcoming and transparent with information in real time! Lives depend on it! … and some police officers are certainly doing a much better job at keeping the public informed. These are our true heroes, the ones who work with the public, not against it. As for the other less responsible officials, well it’s on them, they are knowingly interfering with the public’s right to know. And that pretty much sums up all HN currently has to say about this type of unbecoming wanton douchebaggery perpetrated by certain public officials in recent times… HN may need to disclose more on that matter later… but lets hope some of these self-centered rump-swabs just learn to smarten-up instead. Because as Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.” HN is all about shining light into the darkness. And basically, it’s never too late for some town officials to finally cooperate by kindly providing information which belongs to the public to begin with… HN has a job to do and HN Readers have a right to know.)
Nearly all recent overdoses involve Fentanyl, or some type of heroin/Fentanyl combination, often with the poison’s true potency unbeknownst to the unsuspecting victim.
The YPD points out that although possession of heroin is illegal, police are unable to charge anyone with possession of heroin during an overdose due to an exception in the law.
Is it time for legislators to take another look at the way overdose scenes are handled?
Again, almost all heroin now has the powerful and deadly drug Fentanyl mixed in with it, making it exponentially more potent and deadly. Even now changing the safety protocols for first responders, where some scenes have recently turned into high risk HAZMAT situations…
Many believe that the dealers who knowingly sell volatile poisons that cause death (and put many others at risk) should be charged with some degree of homicide.
A precedent of charging dealers with homicide will likely also lead to the discovery of a new type of previously uncharged “serial killer,” according to some…
… as it is no secret the more prolific dealers are knowingly responsible for selling poison which has directly caused more than one death… yet they continue to distribute their volatile poisons with impunity.
This past April, a Providence man was convicted of murder for selling heroin laced with a deadly dose of Fentanyl which caused the overdose death of a 29-year-old Cranston RI woman. Click here to read the Providence Journal’s coverage of that story… and hit the back arrow to return to HN!
But that particular case, where a drug dealer was sentenced to 40 years in prison for Second Degree Murder for providing poison which killed another, happened in neighboring Rhode Island.
At last check, Massachusetts has yet to hold drug dealers directly responsible for knowingly selling poison which has killed others. Leaving many to believe drug dealers are literally getting away with murder due to inadequacies within current laws, enforcement efforts, and judicial practices…
Are these dealers of death actually getting away with murder? If so, what can be done about it? And who will take the lead in this fight?
Many believe it’s time for our Massachusetts justice system to now, more than ever, hold these unchecked “serial killers” responsible for the thousands killed within our Commonwealth.
The YPD has responded to nearly 100 overdoses so far in 2017.
Meanwhile, the Town of Barnstable has had at least 140 overdoses thus far in 2017, with well over 105 of those overdoses happening in the Village of Hyannis. (These numbers are suspected to be even much higher…)
The incidents are happening so frequently, it’s difficult to keep a completely accurate tally.
This past August alone, Barnstable PD officially recorded a whopping 41 overdoses. But most police and firefighters will tell you – “off the record” of course – that the aforementioned OD stats are much higher, mainly because many overdoses go unreported, where individuals have been to known to cheat the Grim Reaper with their own personal supplies of Narcan…
… the wiser, more prepared addicts don’t shoot-up alone; they have a buddy system which does not keep an official accounting of near death experiences. While those involved in helping and counseling those afflicted with opiate addiction actually encourage this ‘buddy system’ in an effort to reduce the fatality rate, the one negative byproduct is the lack of reliable statistical information related to the actual number of non-fatal overdoses.
Is there a way for police record keepers to team up and compare stats with those involved with counseling addicts? More accurate statistics can prove invaluable down the road…
But here’s another question; what happens when the injected poison is laced with a higher quantity of Fentanyl than expected? First responders tell HN that the normal doses of Narcan set aside by users for the “typical overdose,” usually just involving heroin, or a less potent combination of heroin and Fentanyl, are no longer effectively doing the job. The Narcan either wears off too quick, or else doesn’t even have any reversal effect at all…
… which is when police and fire firefighters are finally called as sort of a ‘Plan B’ remedy for someone very near death, sometimes too late.
It’s not unusual for police and firefighters to find depleted Naloxone (Narcan) delivery syringes nearby after showing up to finally get a dying overdose patient the timely care they need.
In a recent press statement from the Yarmouth Police Department (one of the more proactive and caring distributors of timely information to the public regarding this deadly epidemic), they reminded the public of the following resources:
“If you or a friend needs help stopping and overcoming opioid related addiction, PLEASE call 800-327-5050 for the Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline.
And we remind everyone that the YPD hosts weekly ‘Learn to Cope’ opioid support group meetings for families dealing with addiction and recovery every Tuesday night at 7PM. Narcan training and supplies are available to all at no cost at the end of the meeting.
There is hope. You are not alone.”
UPDATE FROM YPD:
TWO HEROIN RELATED OVERDOSES OVER THE WEEKEND
The YPD and YFD responded to two overdoses believed to be due to the use of heroin/fentanyl this past weekend.
· On Saturday 9.16.17 at 10:21PM, a 23-year-old male was found overdosed in his home. He was revived by members of the Yarmouth Fire Department and transported to Cape Cod Hospital.
· On Sunday, 9.17.17 at 6:51 PM, a 63-year-old male was found overdosed in his home. He was revived by members of the Yarmouth Fire Department and transported to Cape Cod Hospital.
Both men are expected to recover and be released.
While possession of heroin is illegal in Massachusetts, police are unable to charge anyone with possession of heroin during an overdose due to an exception in the law.
Almost all heroin now has the powerful and deadly drug fentanyl mixed in with it.
The YPD has responded to 99 drug related overdoses so far in 2017.