YPD issues year-end report on opiate abuse

YARMOUTH – Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson says as a result of recent media reports concerning heroin use on Cape Cod, he has compiled data that will create a clearer and more accurate picture of heroin use in Yarmouth.

The Chief says what we all have to be reminded of is that an estimated 97% of 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 data collected by the Yarmouth Police Department in 2015:

Suspected Heroin Overdoses:

  • 2014 – 56
  • 2015 – 80

2015 Heroin Overdoses January 1st to July 1st–54
2015 Heroin Overdoses July 1st to December 31–25

Heroin/Opiate Deaths

  • 2014 – 5
  • 2015 – 13

The average age of Yarmouth heroin overdoses in 2014 was 32 years. The average dropped to 31 years in 2015.

In 2014 there were no persons who overdosed under age 21. There were 6 in 2015.

In 2014 there were 12 persons age 21-15 who overdosed.  There were 22 in 2015.

The gender breakdown of heroin overdoses was: Male: 57   Female: 22

Racial breakdown of heroin overdoses: White: 77             African American: 2

Fentanyl has been found in sampled heroin in Yarmouth. Fentanyl is 80 times more powerful than morphine and is made by pharmas and illicit drug labs. It is mixed with low-grade heroin and is responsible for increased deaths and overdoses.

There were no overdoses reported in August.

Police Officers dispensed Narcan to 36 persons. The Fire Department dispensed an additional 29 doses of Narcan.

According to a March 2015 Barnstable County study, approximately 3% of Cape Cod’s population suffers from Chronic Heroin/Opioid Use Disorder. The same Barnstable County report indicates that approximately 8% of the population suffers from Chronic Alcohol Use Disorder.

Based on Yarmouth’s population of 21,000, there are approximately 630 people in Yarmouth who suffer from Chronic Heroin/Opioid Use Disorder.

The average Cape Cod heroin user consumes at least one gram of heroin per day. Many use 4 to 8 grams per day.

The average price of heroin on Cape Cod is $100 per gram.

Heroin users often travel over the bridges to obtain cheaper heroin and use cutting agents to increase the volume of the drug.

This data is only for known heroin overdoses. There were an additional 20 overdoses from: bath salts (1), opioid (6) pills, cocaine (1), molly (1), huffing (2), and psychiatric medication (9).

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

In 2015 the Yarmouth Police Department Drug Enforcement Detective Unit, working in partnership with the Massachusetts State Police Cape and Island Drug Task Force and other state, local, and federal Law Enforcement agencies executed 26 Narcotic Search Warrants and seized:

400 Grams of Heroin
125 Grams of Cocaine
1,000 Opiate Pills
500 Grams of Molly
1,500 Psych Pills
6 Illegal Handguns

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:

  • Additional deployments of the very successful Proactive Anti-Crime Unit will continue on a consistent basis.
  • Strengthen Yarmouth’s reputation as a “No Heroin Town.”
  • Continue to conduct follow-up visits with police officers and trained counselors with those who have overdosed.
  • 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.
  • Continue to host the weekly “Learn to Cope” meetings that assist families who are struggling with loved ones who are addicted.
  • The use and sale of heroin is illegal. The Yarmouth Police Department is responsible for enforcing the Massachusetts Drug Laws and will proactively and aggressively continue to do so in 2016 and beyond.Media release furnished by Yarmouth Police

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