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Worcester Sees Spike In Suspected Drug Overdose Deaths10:14
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An educational pamphlet and samples of naloxone, a drug used to counter the effects of opiate overdose, are displayed at a news conference at the fire station in Taunton, Mass., Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. (AP/Elise Amendola)MoreCloseclosemore
An educational pamphlet and samples of naloxone, a drug used to counter the effects of opiate overdose, are displayed at a news conference at the fire station in Taunton, Mass., Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. (AP/Elise Amendola)

The Worcester Department of Public Health is calling a spike in suspected drug overdose deaths a public health emergency, after nine people died this week in the state's second largest city.

It's part of a greater trend of opiate abuse in Massachusetts that spurred the governor earlier this year to declare a statewide public health emergency.

Meantime Taunton, which had the dubious distinction of being ground zero of Massachusetts' opiate abuse crisis, has seen a marked decline in overdoses and fatalities.

By March, Taunton had responded to 123 overdose calls. But since March, the city of Taunton has only responded to 26 overdose calls.

Guests

Derek Brindisi, public health director for the City of Worcester. The Worcester Department of Public Health tweets @WorcesterDPH.

Tom Hoye, mayor of Taunton. He tweets @MayorHoye.

More

Radio Boston: A Mayor’s Perspective On Heroin In Taunton

  • One hundred twenty-three — that’s the number of heroin overdoses the city of Taunton has seen since the beginning of this year.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette: Worcester Drug Deaths Called 'A Public Health Emergency'

  • "The statement issued and echoed by many of the city's top officials came in a news briefing confirming that a ninth person died from a drug overdose. Since Friday, a total of nine people have died from drug overdoses in Worcester, and there is a possibility of a 10th. The ninth death was discovered on Wall Street, where a man was found dead at the site of the old El Morocco restaurant."

This segment aired on August 7, 2014.

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