FALL RIVER, Mass (WPRI) – The overdose epidemic continues to hit southern New England hard.
Fall River Police say there were 14 recorded overdoses in the city from Friday morning to Monday, 11 were connected to heroin, two were tied to pills, and one remains unknown.
“It’s a big issue.” Captain Joseph Cabral with the Fall River Police Department says, “We find them everywhere: bathroom, cars, apartments, stairwells, several different places.”
Captain Cabral has been tracking the numbers in Fall River for five years. He says the number of heroin overdoses has increased by almost 400% since 2012.
“In 2014, the pendulum swung from pain pills over to heroin. Pills are more expensive and heroin is cheaper.” adds Cabral.
A couple cities over in New Bedford, there were at least a dozen overdoses the week prior, with four happening in a four-hour time span.
Just as many first responders in southern New England do, Fall River Police now carry Narcan to reverse overdoses.
The overdose-reversal drug is just one way they’re working to keep the number of deaths as low as possible.
Fall River Police say more than 20 people have died from heroin overdoses in the city in 2016.
Captain Cabral points out that addiction doesn’t discriminate. “It has no barriers, it affects everyone and everyone, suburbs, city, educated, not education.”
Fall River Police also have a heroin responsive initiative on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, when they talk to those who have overdosed and are getting treatment.