A dangerous, synthetic drug linked to dozens of recent opioid overdose deaths in New England has been confirmed in Boston for the first time, police said.
The Boston Globe reports that an overdose patient, who survived, had shot up a mixture of heroin and Fentanyl. The overdose occurred in March.
Fentanyl is extremely potent and man-made. It is used to relieve pain in end-stage cancer patients, and it is much stronger than heroin. Drug dealers are mixing the two drugs, which causes a more intense reaction for users. Some users prefer the stronger high, but many are overdosing and dying because of the increased potency of the two drugs.
The rise of Fentanyl and overdose deaths is troubling for police and first responders, and it has led to an increase in two-pronged strategies. Police are turning up the heat on drug dealers and suppliers, in an attempt to find the source of the Fentanyl scourge. In Arlington, a joint operation with county and federal agencies netted three suspected heroin dealers this month.
At the same time, we’re seeing police departments like Chelmsford reacting to the public health crisis as well by adding Narcan to all of its police cruisers.
The prevailing wisdom is that it’s not a crime punishable by death to “be” a drug user, and drug overdose deaths are never a good thing in a community. You can bank of seeing more police agencies follow Chelmsford’s approach.