The Somerville Police & Fire Departments have responded to 18 overdose incidents since May 1, 2022, four of these have been fatal. Fentanyl continues to be a primary substance increasing overdose, please see below for the Fentanyl Fact Sheet. Other factors increasing fatalities are the use of other substances such as Xylazine, which is not an opioid thus Narcan may not be enough. Overdoses have not been limited to opioids; another shift contributing to this is cross contamination, it is not uncommon for suppliers to distribute multiple drugs, and thus we have also seen individuals using stimulants as well as other substances also at risk of overdose.
Overdose is a medical emergency and the Somerville Police Department is committed to supporting community health through providing supports and interventions. Please know that if you call 911 for an overdose related emergency it will be addressed as a medical emergency. We know that time is crucial to save someone’s life. For safety, call 911 immediately, do not handle any substances on site for your own safety. Administer Narcan if available, if not conduct rescue breathing until help arrives (see the Safety Sheet for more details and safety practices.)
Outside of the Crisis: If you are an active user or concerned about a loved one, the Somerville Police Department’s Community-Outreach-Help-Recovery Unit (COHR) is available Mon – Friday 9-5 and Thursdays evenings we partner with ACCESS to follow up on medical calls and provide resources in the community from 4-7pm. All communication is confidential. COHR is located at 220 Washington St., please feel free to drop in or you can contact Patty Contente 617-625-6600 ext. 7281 or Cheryl Delafano at ext. 7345 for more information.
ACCESS, an active drug user health program can be reached directly at 857-313-6800 or online at https://aac.org/programs-services/needle-exchange/. ACCESS has walk-in hours at 359 Green St., Cambridge MA, Monday – Wednesday, Friday 9-12 & 1-4; Thurs 9-12, where you can get Narcan, tests strips, safe injection supplies and talk with harm reduction specialist as well as nursing. ACCESS also offers a walk -in Medical Clinic with Dr. Fleming on Wednesday & Friday from 9am-12pm.
If you are interested in recovery programs and detox you can contact the Mass Substance Abuse Help line https://helplinema.org/ by phone at 1-800-327-5050.
The Mass Behavioral Health Access Website https://www.mabhaccess.com/ has current listings of Detox programs. At this site you will click on blue tab for Substance Use Find Provider Openings, on the next screen use drop done menu and choose ATS and fill in age of person and distance willing to travel, which will bring you to a current list of publicly funded detox bed availability.
Unfortunately, fatalities due to overdose continue to rise. For further information about opioid overdose the World Health Organization has an online resource in multiple languages at https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/opioid-overdose.
Somerville Police Department is committed to partnering with community to reduce these tragic outcomes. Please contact us if you have any questions, 617-625-1212