Over the course of a single week in Western Massachusetts eight people have died due to an allegedly lethal heroin strain making the rounds. This particular strain of the drug is being called Hollywood by the police since that is what it is apparently being branded as. According to Fox 59, Dustin Fitch, a Massachusetts State Police Trooper, says that it is not clear yet exactly how long the drug has been in the state.
As CNN is reporting, the deaths have been concentrated mostly in the smaller cities of Chicopee and Holyoke, however, the latest death occurred in Springfield. With death toll slowly inching up, the local Massachusetts police departments have issued warnings to the public concerning the Hollywood strain of heroin. At the same time, however, the police are still working to determine exactly what it is about this new batch of drugs which is making it so very dangerous.
According to Lt. Jim Albert of the Holyoke Police Department, it is possible that there could be a potentially deadly mix of chemicals which have been added to the strain. The other possibility is that this batch of drugs is so pure that in reality even someone who is already an addict can not handle it in their body.
In the city of Holyoke there were a number of overdoses with two being fatal. There is also another death that is being investigated at this time to see if it also links back to the heroin. While there have certainly been deaths due to the drug, Albert also pointed out that there have been a few people who were saved after they were administered Naloxone. There have also been a few people revived without any further assistance.
The Chicopee Police Department also issued news releases regarding the drug and fatalities. According to the department, between Dec. 30, 2015 and Jan. 1, 2016 seven people have overdosed on the Hollywood strain of heroin. Of those seven overdoses, there were three confirmed deaths. The release ends with a strong warning not to use this drug.
There was however some good news out of Massachusetts, as in Springfield the police were able to seize 9,000 bags of heroin labeled with the Hollywood stamp. In addition to the seizure, there were four people arrested. They are being charged with heroin trafficking in conjunction with this bust. The local police also confiscated approximately $20,000 along with the drugs.
By Dorothea James
Photo Courtesy Springfield Police Department