I have assembled this report in order to demonstrate the reality of the Yarmouth Police Departments response to heroin/fentanyl overdoses. We also track other overdoses and you will see that there was a slight increase in overdoses other than heroin/fentanyl. It must also be noted that delineating heroin from fentanyl overdoses is very difficult. Because of this, we included then in one category.
What we all have to be reminded of is that an estimated 97% Yarmouth residents do NOT use heroin or other opioids. Unfortunately 3% of the population across Cape Cod does use heroin or misuse other opioids.
Below is some information retrieved from our 2016 Yarmouth Police Department database:
- Total of all overdoses responded to: 2016 103 2015 100
- Suspected Heroin Overdoses: 2016 75 2015 79
- Heroin Overdoses January 1 to July 1 2016 52
- Heroin Overdoses July 1 to December 31 2016 23
- Suspected Heroin Deaths 2016 11 2015 13
- The average age of Yarmouth heroin overdoses:
2016 32.96 2015 31.13
- Heroin Overdoses under age 21:
2016 3 2015 6
- Heroin Overdoses Age 21-25:
2016 13 2015 22
- Heroin Overdoses Age 26-30 2016 24
- Heroin Overdoses Age 31-35 2016 14
- Heroin Overdoses Age 36-40 2016 4
- Heroin Overdoses Age 41-45 2016 6
- Heroin Overdoses Age 46-50 2016 3
- Heroin Overdoses Age 51-60 2016 6
- Heroin Overdoses over Age 61+ 2016 2
- The gender of heroin overdoses: Male: 45 Female: 30
- Race of heroin overdoses: White: 72 Non-White: 3
- Police Officers dispensed Narcan to persons 30 times
- Rescue personnel dispensed Narcan an additional 16 times
This data is only for known heroin overdoses. There were an additional 29 overdoses opioid (6) pills, huffing (2) and psychiatric medication (8), Sleeping Pills (8)*6 by the same person, Cold Med (1), Hallucinogen (1), Huffing (1), RX (1), Klonopan (1)
This data only reflects overdoses that were responded to by the Yarmouth Police Department and does not include unreported overdoses or overdoses that were transported by acquaintances to the hospital.
Fentanyl, street name “China White”, is being found in almost all sampled heroin in Yarmouth. Fentanyl is 80 times more powerful than morphine and is made by pharma’s and illicit drug labs. It is mixed with low grade heroin and is responsible for increase deaths and overdoses. It is now assumed that all heroin is mixed to some degree with fentanyl.
According to a March 2015 Barnstable County Study, approximately 3% of Cape Cod’s population suffer from Chronic Heroin/Opioid Use Disorder. Based on Yarmouth’s population of 21,000, there are approximately 630 people on Yarmouth who suffer from Chronic Heroin/Opioid Use Disorder.
The same Barnstable County report indicates that approximately 8% of population suffers from Chronic Alcohol Use Disorder.
The average Cape Cod heroin user consumes at least one gram of heroin per day. Many use 4-8 grams per day.
The average price of one gram of heroin on Cape Cod is $100 per gram. When the street value of the annual consumption of heroin by 3% of the population in any community is calculated, the numbers are shocking. Often heroin users travel over the bridges to obtain cheaper heroin and use cutting agents to increase their volume of heroin.
The Yarmouth Police Department is constantly addressing the heroin issue and the public safety concerns of the 97% of the community who do NOT use heroin by doing the following:
- The use and sale of Heroin is illegal. The Yarmouth Police Department is responsible for enforcing the Drug Laws and will aggressively continue to do so.
- Additional deployments of the very successful Proactive Anti-Crime Unit will be deployed on consistent basis.
- Encourage Yarmouth to have a reputation as a “No Heroin Town.”
- Continue to conduct follow-up visits with a substance abuse counselor to those who have overdosed.
- The Yarmouth Police Department will continue to work with the Yarmouth Substance Abuse Committee and encourage them to develop a consistent and centralized point of contact that will assist addicted persons with treatment.
- The Yarmouth Police Department will continue to host the weekly Tuesday night “Learn to Cope” meetings that assist families who are struggling with loved ones who are addicted.
- The Yarmouth Police Department will assist anyone who is seeking substance abuse help.
- The Yarmouth Police Department will work with Probation Officers, Parole Officers, and Judges in order to assist in the recovery of addicted persons.
- The Yarmouth Police Department will assist our schools with preventative programs.
The heroin addiction rate is likely to remain high. Rehabilitation programs are unproven but the efforts are a last resort for addicted persons.
It is my belief that we must put greater effort into prevention measures. The funding for rehabilitation dwarfs the amount of funding for prevention. If the funding were reversed, it is likely that the addiction rate would reduce significantly.
Chief of Police