Yarmouth Police Chief Frederickson's Report on 2018 Overdoses

Fentanyl is being found in almost all sampled heroin in Yarmouth

From Yarmouth Police Chief Frank Frederickson (verbatim):

Yarmouth Police Department 2018 Overdoses Report

I have assembled this report in order to demonstrate the Yarmouth Police Department's efforts to heroin/fentanyl overdoses. We also track other overdoses other than heroin/fentanyl. It must also be noted that delineating heroin from fentanyl overdoses is very difficult. Because of this, we included then in one category.

You will notice that there has been a significant drop in the amount of overdoses that the Yarmouth Police responded to in 2018. Overdose deaths dropped from 15 in 2017 to 8 in 2018. Total heroin/fentanyl overdoses dropped 56 in 2018 down from the high of 108 in 2017. Additionally the average age of those who overdosed rose to 35.3 in 2018 up from 31.3 in 2015. The reasons for the changes are not certain but the wide spread availability of Narcan certainly is playing a role in addition to the many other efforts by law enforcement, courts, corrections, outreach and healthcare. It is our hope that we will continue to see overdoses decline.

What we all have to be reminded of in 2015 an estimated 97% Yarmouth residents do NOT use heroin or other opioids. Unfortunately, 3% of the population across Cape Cod does use heroin or misuse other opioids. Below is some information retrieved from the 2017 Yarmouth Police data that was collected:

Total Drug Overdose Response
2015 2016 2017 2018
103 100 131 65

Suspected Heroin Overdoses
2015 2016 2017 2018
79 75 108 56

Suspected Heroin Deaths
2015 2016 2017 2018
13 11 15 8

Average Age of Yarmouth Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses
2015 2016 2017 2018
31.3 32.96 34.7 35.3

• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Under age 21:
2015 2016 2017 2018
6 3 3 1

• Heroin Overdoses Age 21-25:
2015 2016 2017 2018
22 13 18 3

• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 26-30 - 21 
• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 31-35 - 10 
• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 36-40 - 9 
• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 41-45 - 1 
• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 46-50 - 4
• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Age 51-60 - 6
• Heroin/Fentanyl Overdoses Over Age 61+ - 1
• The gender of heroin overdoses was: Male: 32 Female: 24
• Race of Heroin/Fentanyl overdoses: White: 53 African American: 1
• Police Officers dispensed Narcan to 25 persons. 
• Rescue personnel dispensed an additional 18 doses of Narcan.

This data is only for known Heroin/Fentanyl overdoses. There were an additional 9 overdoses RX- Benzo (5), RX Opioid (2), Methamphetamine (1), Inhalant (1)

This data only reflects overdoses that were responded to by the Yarmouth Police Department and does not include unreported overdoses or overdoses that were transported by acquaintances to the hospital.

Fentanyl is being found in almost all sampled heroin in Yarmouth. Fentanyl is 80 times more powerful than morphine and is made by pharma’s and illicit drug labs. It is mixed with low grade heroin and is responsible for increase deaths and overdoses. It is now assumed that all heroin is mixed to some degree with fentanyl.

According to a March 2015 Barnstable County Study, approximately 3% of Cape Cod’s population suffer from Chronic Heroin/Opioid Use Disorder. Based Yarmouth’s population of 21,000, there are approximately 630 people on Yarmouth who suffer from Chronic Heroin/Opioid Use Disorder.

The same Barnstable County report indicates that approximately 8% of population suffers from Chronic Alcohol Use Disorder.

The average Cape Cod Heroin/Fentanyl user consumes at least one gram of heroin/fentanyl per day. Many use 4-8 grams per day.

The average price of one gram of Heroin/Fentanyl on Cape Cod is $100 per gram. When the street value of the annual consumption of Heroin/Fentanyl by 3% of the population in any community is calculated, the numbers are shocking. Often Heroin/Fentanyl users travel over the bridges to obtain cheaper heroin/fentanyl and use cutting agents to increase their volume of Heroin/Fentanyl.

The Yarmouth Police Department is constantly addressing the Heroin/Fentanyl issue and the public safety concerns of the 97% of the community who do NOT use heroin by doing the following:
• The use and sale of Heroin/Fentanyl is illegal. The Police Department is responsible for enforcing the Drug Laws and will aggressively continue to do so. 
• Additional deployments of the very successful Proactive Anti- Crime Unit will be deployed on consistent basis. 
• Encourage Yarmouth to have a reputation as a “No Heroin/Fentanyl Town”.
• Continue to conduct follow-up visits with a substance abuse counselor to those who have overdosed.
• The Department will continue to work with the Yarmouth Substance Abuse Committee and other groups to encourage them to develop a consistent and centralized point of contact that will assist addicted persons with treatment. 
• The Department will continue to host the weekly “Learn to Cope” meetings that assist families who are struggling with loved ones who are addicted. 
• The Department will assist anyone who is seeking substance abuse help.
• The Department will work with Probation Officers, Parole Officers and Judges in order to assist in the recovery of addicted persons.
• The Department will assist our schools with preventative programs as well as implement a youth targeted prevention program funded by a $20,000 grant.

The Heroin/Fentanyl addiction rate is likely to remain high. Rehabilitation programs are varied and one size does not fit all but the efforts are a last resort for addicted persons. It is my belief that we must put greater effort into prevention measures. The funding for rehabilitation dwarfs the amount of funding for prevention. If the funding were reversed, it is likely that the addiction rate would reduce significantly.

The Yarmouth Police Department as much as anyone hope to see the day when better decisions are made before any begins to use any drug and in particular heroin/fentanyl.


Frank G. Frederickson
Chief of Police

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