Franklin County Tracking Heroin Overdose Numbers
(GREENFIELD, Mass.) (WGGB)–Authorities in Franklin County are trying to get a handle on the increase of heroin overdose deaths in their community.
Local Police chiefs are keeping track of the number of overdose cases in hopes of formulating a plan to reverse the disturbing trend.
The opiate abuse problem is hitting now only urban areas but rural areas as well from Cape Cod to the Berkshires.
Northwestern District Attorney Dave Sullivan, whose district includes Franklin and Hampshire counties has been watching the disturbing trend,”In our district we’ve had 22 deaths since Nov. 1, which is a dramatic increase over any statistics that we’ve kept and that doesn’t even include the non-fatal overdoses,” says Sullivan.
At the Greenfield Police Department Chief Robert Haigh has also been tracking the numbers,”I think it shows the problem is here, and it is our responsibility now to act and I think that’s what you’re seeing with the task force and community outreach that we need to do something positive to get these numbers to either slow down or come backwards,” says Haigh.
Governor Patrick has taken action as well declaring a public health emergency.
The governor also called for a ban on the pain-killer Zohydro , a move which District Attorney Sullivan says will help reduce the addiction numbers,”Zohydro’s 20 to 30 times more powerful than Oxycontin and the governor’s ban was a temporary ban that we don’t put this on the market until we take steps to protect the public so it doesn’t get abused,” says Sullivan.
D.A. Sullivan says the police alone can’t solve the problem alone,”The heroin and opioid crisis is a community crisis, a public health crisis, we’re not going to incarcerate or arrest out way out of it , it’s the community that will make a difference in addressing this issue,” says Sullivan.