June 1, 2018
Since last Wednesday the county has experienced 53 overdoses, with 6 being fatal suspected overdoses. The spike is a concerning trend, and one that the Plymouth County Outreach Chiefs & Advisory Board wants to share with the public. Earlier this week, Rhode Island Public Health shared a similar spike over this same time period that they are seeing in their region (via WPRI http://www.wpri.com/health/ri-sees-big-spike-in-drug-overdoses-health-dept-issues-alert/1208648420)
PCO and its partners want the public, especially individuals at risk for overdose and their families and friends, to be aware of the increased risk of an overdose and what action you can take.
Know how to recognize the signs of an overdose:
- Breathing is very slow and shallow, erratic or has stopped
- Face very pale
- Cool, clammy skin
- Choking sounds or a gurgling noise (death rattle)
- Pulse (heartbeat) is slow erratic or has stopped
- Blue/grey skin tinge – usually lips and fingers show first, sometimes in tips of ears
- Passing out
- Body becomes very limp
Life saving measures to reverse an overdose:
Naloxone, also known as Narcan, is a medication used to reverse an opioid overdose. Narcan saved lives 95% of the time when administered in Plymouth County last year.
Narcan is available at the following locations:
- Your local pharmacy has an open/standing prescription for everyone. This means you can go to your pharmacy to ask for Narcan. The cost will be whatever your insurance co-pay is.
- BAMSI COPE Center located at 81 Pleasant Street in Brockton is open Monday through Friday 9:00am – 4:00pm.
- Local Drop-In Centers: ebhopes.net or call (504) 800-0942
- Local Learn 2 Cope meetings: https://www.learn2cope.org/
Treatment, support and hope are available throughout the county and region:
- Brockton Champion Plan http://opioidoverdoseprevention.org/bmoocp/champion-plan/
- Drop-In Centers, East Bridgewater, Plymouth and Wareham ebhopes.net
- Scituate South Shore Peer Recovery Center http://www.southshorepeerrecovery.com/
- Plymouth Recovery Center https://www.facebook.com/PlymouthRecoveryCenter/
- Brockton Area Prevention Collaborative http://opioidoverdoseprevention.org/bmoocp/overdose/
- Manet Community Health Center at Hull http://www.manetchc.org/locations/hull.html
- Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline: 800-327-5050 or https://helplinema.org/
Safeguard your home:
Any unused prescription medications can be disposed of at drug take back boxes at your local police departments or Beth Israel Deaconess- Plymouth at no cost to you.
9-1-1 Make the Call. Save a Life:
Massachusetts has the Good Samaritan Law, passed in 2007, encourages someone who witnesses an overdose to seek help by protecting the caller and the person who overdosed from arrest and prosecution for drug possession. The goal is to protect people so they are not afraid to involve emergency services (911) as soon as possible.
The Plymouth County Police Chiefs, District Attorney and Sheriff last year created a PCO Good Samaritan Law PSA, click here to view video; https://vimeo.com/245209366
Harm reduction strategies:
- Don’t use alone
- Use slowly
- Test a small amount first
- Carry Narcan
More about Plymouth County Outreach:
Plymouth County Outreach (PCO) is a collaboration of all 27 municipal police departments in the county, as well as Bridgewater State University Police Department, the District Attorney’s Office, Sheriff’s Department, along with dozens of partners from healthcare, substance use disorder treatment organizations, the recovery community, faith-based groups, local substance use coalitions, concerned citizens and the region’s hospitals.
PCO’s Program Coordinator, Victoria Butler, continues to keep the public updated through the PCO Facebook page (@plymouthcountyoutreach on Facebook)