Heroin overdoses on the rise in Springfield area

The District Attorney's office is reminding people about the 'good Samaritan law’

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A spike in heroin overdoses in Western Massachusetts has law enforcement and health officials warning about the dangers of a new more potent strain of the drug.

In the last 72 hours, western Massachusetts emergency rooms have seen about 25 suspected heroin overdoses and several deaths, since Thursday. A deadly new development in the local war on drugs.

Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni and Baystate Health put out a public advisory warning that there’s a new, more deadly strain of Heroin on the streets.

Kim Times from Hartford told 22News, “There are a lot of drugs on the street. It lets you know there’s a problem in the community. It also lets you know that people in the community need to be aware and  be proactive, so their family members are not affected.”

Ludlow Police Sergeant Daniel Valadas told 22News, they’ve seen seven overdoses and two deaths since Thursday. An amount he says, is more than usual.

“There’s been a war on drugs for the last 20-30-years. It’s not going anywhere, drugs are still coming in,” said Joe Renkiewicz of Middletown CT.

Thursday evening, a 24-year old man was taken to Baystate Wing for a suspected heroin overdose. Friday, a 41-year-old Ludlow man died from another possible overdose, and on Saturday, a 24-year-old overdosed and died in a bathroom.

Emergency rooms across Western Massachusetts have seen a recent spike in opiate related overdoses.

The most recent overdose was on Sunday. A 23-year-old Ludlow man, who had been found in the Pride Gas station on Center Street, has survived.

The District Attorney’s office is reminding people about the ‘Good Samaritan Law’, which protects those who call 911 to report an overdose from being arrested.

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