CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – State police have investigated a total of 185 heroin deaths statewide since the beginning of November, and 33 of those have been here in western Massachusetts.
David Procopio of Massachusetts State Police Media Relations says that the numbers indicate that the number of overdose deaths is on the rise.
According to the statistics, two of the deaths occurred in Berkshire County, 12 occurred in Hampden County, and 19 of the deaths happened in Franklin and Hampshire Counties, which were measured collectively. The statistics do not include deaths in the city of Springfield, where the police department conducts its own death investigations. Similarly, the 185 statewide deaths also do not include numbers from Boston or Worcester.
The area with the highest number of overdose deaths was Bristol County, in southeastern Massachusetts, where 34 overdose deaths were reported.
Procopio says that the increase in deaths may be due to factors including a more potent strain of heroin, an increase in the availability of the drug, the “cutting” of heroin with synthetic substances such as Fentanyl, and the taking of heroin along with other drugs, such as prescription painkillers.