Yarmouth Police chief issues 2019 report on drug use

YARMOUTH – I have assembled this report to demonstrate the Yarmouth Police Department’s efforts to address heroin/fentanyl overdoses.

We also track other overdoses other than heroin/fentanyl. It must also be noted that fentanyl has replaced heroin. Because of this, we included them in one category.

You will notice that the amount of overdoses that the Yarmouth Police responded to in 2019 increased slightly for 65 to 71. Reported overdoses are down significantly from the high water year of 2017 when we responded to 108 compared to the 71 in 2019. However overdose deaths rose from 8 in 2018 to 12 in 2019.This is primarily due to the uneven potency of fentanyl in each dose, even from the same batch.
Additionally, the average age of those who overdosed rose to 36 in 2019, up from 35 in 2018.

Data and changes in data may not tell the whole story. The wide spread availability of Narcan certainly is playing a role in deaths and reported overdoses. Additionally, efforts by law enforcement, courts, corrections, outreach and, healthcare have impacted data. We have noticed an increased amount of Narcan needed to revive overdose patients.

What we all have to be reminded of the 2015 study that an estimated 97% Yarmouth and Cape Cod 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 summary of information which was collected in the year 2019.

Total Drug Overdose Response
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
103 100 131 65 71

Suspected Fenatnyl/Heroin Overdoses
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
79 75 108 56 63

Suspected Heroin Deaths
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
13 11 15 8 12

Average Age of Yarmouth Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
31.3 32.96 34.7 35.3 36.1

• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Under age 21:
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
6 3 3 1 2

• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 21-25:
2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
22 13 18 3 7

• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 26-30 – 16

• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 31-35 – 15

• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 36-40 – 4

• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 41-45 – 4

• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 46-50 – 3

• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 51-60 – 11

• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Over Age 61+ – 0

• The gender of heroin overdoses was:
Male: 41 Female: 30

• Race of Heroin/Fentanyl overdoses:
White: 63 African American: 8

• Police Officers dispensed Narcan to 26 persons.
• Rescue personnel dispensed Narcan to an additional 19 persons.
• Civilians dispensed Narcan to an additional 6 persons.

This data is only for known Heroin/Fentanyl overdoses. There were an additional 8 overdoses:
Benzo (7)), Methamphetamine (1)

This data only reflects overdoses that were responded to by the Yarmouth Police Department and does not include unreported overdoses or individuals that overdosed and were transported by acquaintances to the hospital.

According to a March 2015 Barnstable County Study, approximately 3% of Cape Cod’s population suffer from Chronic Heroin/Opioid Use Disorder. Based 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/Fentanyl user consumes at least one gram of heroin/fentanyl per day. Many use 4-8 grams per day.

The average price of one gram of Heroin/Fentanyl on Cape Cod is $100 per gram. When the street value of the annual consumption of Heroin/Fentanyl is calculated by the population in any community, the numbers are shocking. Often Heroin/Fentanyl users travel over the bridges to obtain cheaper heroin/fentanyl and use cutting agents to increase their volume of Heroin/Fentanyl.

The Yarmouth Police Department is constantly addressing the Heroin/Fentanyl 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/Fentanyl is illegal. The Police Department is responsible for enforcing the Drug Laws and will aggressively continue to do so.

• Deployment of the very successful Proactive Anti- Crime Unit will continue.

• Encourage Yarmouth to have a reputation as a “No Heroin/Fentanyl Town”.

• Continue to conduct follow-up visits with a substance abuse counselor to those who have overdosed.

• The Department will continue to work with the Yarmouth Substance Abuse Committee and other groups to encourage them to develop a consistent and centralized point of contact that will assist addicted persons with treatment.

• The Department will continue to host the weekly “Learn to Cope” meetings that assist families who are struggling with loved ones who are addicted.

• The Department will assist anyone who is seeking substance abuse help.

• The Department will work with Probation Officers, Parole Officers and Judges to assist in the recovery of addicted persons.

• The Department will assist our schools with preventative programs as well as implement a youth targeted prevention program funded by a $20,000 grant.

Fentanyl is being found in all overdoses in Yarmouth. Fentanyl is 80 times more powerful than morphine and is made by pharma’s and mostly by Drug Cartels in illicit drug labs. Fentanyl is mass produced in Mexico and is flooding America through traditional means of smuggling. It is expected that fentanyl use will continue to kill users at a high rate.

The Heroin/Fentanyl addiction rate is likely to remain high. Rehabilitation programs are varied and one size does not fit all 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.

The Yarmouth Police Department, as much as anyone, hopes to see the day when better decisions are made before anyone begins to use any drug and in particular heroin/fentanyl.

Frank G. Frederickson
Chief of Police

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
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