A Patriot Circle woman, 56, died of a suspected heroin overdose Friday night.
According to Captain John Rogers, police who had been called to the scene initiated CPR until emergency medical technicians arrived. The victim was taken to Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Plymouth where she was pronounced dead.
The death was one of two drug overdose deaths, and one of seven drug related calls, for the police department over the weekend. According to Chief Michael Botieri, there have been 15 overdose-related deaths in Plymouth this year. In most overdose cases, evidence of heroin use is found, he said.
Police have been on over 100 overdose calls this year, Botieri said. The fire department, he said, has gone out on nearly 300. “Obviously, it’s an epidemic,” he said. He said there is a need to educate the families of drug abusers on how to use the legal system to help them. The town’s street crimes unit can intervene he said and help get users into the Plymouth County Drug Court.
Botieri cited such factors as the legal availability of needles and prescription painkillers as two factors in the rise of heroin abuse. State law also prohibits the arrest of people actively overdosing, he said. In his view, this means a lost opportunity to get addicts treatment.
“Let us help,” he said, urging people to contact the police if they suspect a loved one is abusing drugs.