Several Resources Are Available for Those in Need
PLYMOUTH — The Police Chiefs of Plymouth County report that between Friday, April 16 and Monday, May 10 of this year, Plymouth County Outreach has documented three double overdose fatality incidents; three separate incidents where two individuals had used substances together and fatally overdosed, resulting in six deaths.
PCO and its partners want the public, especially individuals at risk for overdose and their families and friends, to be aware of the increased risk of an overdose and what actions you can take.
It is important to be aware that anyone using any substance purchased off the street is at risk of an overdose. It is suspected that Fentanyl is being mixed with other non-opioid substances such as cocaine and street pills marked as Xanax.
Plymouth County Outreach shares the following tips to assist the public in knowing how to recognize the signs of an overdose:
- Breathing is very slow and shallow, erratic or has stopped
- Face very pale
- Cool, clammy skin
- Choking sounds or a gurgling noise (death rattle)
- Pulse (heartbeat) is slow, erratic or has stopped
- Blue/grey skin tinge – usually lips and fingers show first, sometimes in tips of ears
- Loss of consciousness/passing out
- Body becomes very limp
Narcan is Available
Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication used to reverse an opioid overdose. Narcan saved lives 93% of the time when administered in Plymouth County last year.
Narcan is readily available throughout the County free of cost, no questions asked, through the following:
- By Calling Plymouth County Outreach 508-830-4218 ext. 261 or reaching out through the connect page on our website www.plymouthcountyoutreach.org/connect
- Bamsi Cope Center, 74 Pleasant St., Brockton. Click here for their website.
- Wareham Community Outreach on Monday nights from 6-8 p.m. at Grace Lighthouse Church, 3065 Cranberry Highway, Wareham
- PCO Hope by calling 508-261-5488
- Your local pharmacy has an open/standing prescription for everyone. This means you can go to your pharmacy to ask for Narcan. The cost will be whatever your insurance co-pay is.
Treatment, support and hope are available throughout the county and region. Learn more here:
- At https://plymouthcountyoutreach.org/partners/
- Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline: 800-327-5050 or https://helplinema.org/
- If you or a loved one is at-risk of an overdose and looking to access treatment, please reach out to your local Plymouth County Police Department and ask to speak with a Plymouth County Outreach Officer, or contact us through our website: www.plymouthcountyoutreach.org/connect or call 508-830-4218 ext. 261
9-1-1: Make the Call. Save a Life.
Massachusetts has the Good Samaritan Law, passed in 2007, which encourages someone who witnesses an overdose to seek help by protecting the caller and the person who overdosed from arrest and prosecution for drug possession. The goal is to protect people so they are not afraid to involve emergency services (911) as soon as possible.
The Plymouth County Police Chiefs, District Attorney and Sheriff created a PCO Good Samaritan Law PSA. Click here to view the video: https://vimeo.com/245209366
Harm reduction saves lives
- Don’t use alone; if you must use alone call the Never Use Alone hotline: 1-800-972-0590
- Use with someone else present and don’t use at the same time. This way if one of you overdose, the other can call 911 and administer Narcan
- Test your substances with fentanyl test strips
- Have access to Narcan
- Make sure your social networks have Narcan
- Mixing substances can put you at increased risk of overdose
- Do tester amounts, you can’t take it back
- Use new supplies every time
- Using via inhalation or smoking doesn’t protect you from overdose
- Periods of abstinence followed by use are quite dangerous for fatal overdose. Common examples are hospitalizations, incarceration, periods of abstinence based treatment
- Heroin use = fentanyl use in Massachusetts
- Canary cellphone app: Canary is an overdose prevention app that monitors for a user’s inactivity after activation. In the event a user stops moving and fails to respond to prompts by Canary, the app issues an alert to others.
For more information on harm reduction strategies, visit https://plymouthcountyoutreach.org/harm-reduction/
About Plymouth County Outreach
Plymouth County Outreach (PCO) is a collaboration of all 27 municipal police departments in the county, as well as Bridgewater State University Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Department, along with dozens of partners from healthcare, substance use disorder treatment organizations, the recovery community, faith-based groups, local substance use coalitions, concerned citizens and the region’s hospitals.
PCO’s Program Director, Vicky Butler, continues to keep the public updated through the PCO’s social media accounts: Facebook @plymouthcountyoutreach | Twitter @countyoutreach | Instagram @plymouthcountyoutreach | Website: www.plymouthcountyoutreach.org.