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Addiction in Franklin County

2 possible overdoses in less than a day in Greenfield

The same day local first responders were learning how to administer a heroin overdose antidote, Greenfield police responded to a possible drug overdose death.

A woman found her boyfriend face down in the bathroom early Monday morning after she woke up in the middle of the night to find he wasn’t beside her, according to police.

Police responded to the 1:45 a.m. call to find the man not breathing and with no pulse, according to the Greenfield police log.

Police found evidence of drugs, of a variety not specified in early reports, and listed the call as an overdose. He was taken to Baystate Franklin Medical Center. There, the 23-year-old Gill man was pronounced dead, according to Steven Gagne of the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office.

“Until such time as the decedent’s toxicology results come back, we cannot confirm whether this was an overdose,” Gagne said in a written statement.

If confirmed as an overdose, it would be the second logged by Greenfield Police within 24 hours.

At 9:53 a.m. Sunday, police, firefighters and paramedics were called to the Winslow Apartments at the corner of Wells and Main streets after a man reportedly saw a woman collapse and begin to seize after injecting heroin. The woman was conscious and breathing when police arrived, according to the log, and was taken to the hospital. Her condition could not be determined Monday. There were needles and other signs of heroin use throughout the apartment, according to police.

First responders from a number of Franklin and Hampshire county police, fire and ambulance organizations trained Monday in South Deerfield in the use of the simple opioid overdose antidote Narcan or naloxone hydrochloride.

Heroin and other opioids are responsible for the lion’s share of overdoses and other addiction damage locally, and have been for some time.

Recent numbers gathered by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Greenfield, Montague, Gill and Deerfield police recorded 36 apparent or suspected drug overdoses in those four towns, home to a roughly half of the Franklin County population, between Dec. 1 and early April. Three people died, 17 survived, and the fate of the rest are unknown. Heroin was the culprit in 16 of these, the non-opioid antianxiety medication benzodiazepine in seven. The suspected causes of the rest were not recorded.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: ccurtis@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

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