Hampden County DA, State Police release statement about opiate overdoses

A similar statement was released last month after eight overdoses in four days

In this Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 photo a nasal administered dose of Narcan is seen in school nurse Kathleen Gage's Pilgrim High School office Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Warwick, R.I. A new state law requires middle schools and high schools to stock Narcan, which can reverse the effects of an overdose of drugs such as heroin or prescription painkillers.(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni is warning the public about an increase in opiate overdose deaths.

The District Attorney’s office said there’s been several opiate related overdoses in the past few days. As of right now, they believe a deadly strain of heroin could be responsible.

Hampden County District Attorney Anthony Gulluni issued a statement Saturday night about the increase in opiate related deaths and emergencies.

In the statement, he said: “Family and friends of suspected opiate users should be advised of a potentially more lethal strain of heroin being distributed in the area.”

Gulluni issued a similar statement last month, after eight people overdosed on heroin in Hampden County in a period of 4 days.

Opiate addiction is a statewide epidemic. State lawmakers are considering a bill that would limit first time opiate prescriptions to a seven-day supply.

Opiate related deaths have increased over the past couple of years.

Mariame Kunta, a Springfield resident, told 22News she thinks the state should also focus on educating the public on the dangers of opiates: “Looking at the issues I think would help limit the use of heroin. That’s one piece, and also educating people about what it can do to your body; what are the consequences of using heroin”

Heroin and prescription pill addiction is a major problem across the state and it’s become worse over time.

According to the Department of Health, overdoses increased more than 60% from 2012 to 2014.

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