Plymouth: Record number of heroin overdoses, deaths

The opiate epidemic hit hard again over the weekend in Plymouth. The police and fire departments responded to seven calls for overdoses, two of them fatal.

Plymouth Police Chief Michael Botieri said, because of its city-sized population and diverse cultural composition, the town is on the forefront of the epidemic south of Boston.

As a destination town, many of the drug-related arrests are of non-residents.

Botieri has instituted a street crimes unit to put officers where the deals are being made. Fire Chief Ed Bradley has equipped all his personnel with the overdose reviver Narcan.

They both participate in educational efforts.

The police station has a prescription drug disposal bin. Yet, the overdoses and deaths keep coming – nearly 280 overdoses and 15 known heroin-related deaths in Plymouth so far this year.

State Police say there have been 53 suspected opiate/heroin overdose deaths in Massachusetts so far in December, including 16 over the weekend.



A spoon, syringe, lighter and heroin.

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.