Spike in overdoses in Northampton being reported - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Spike in overdoses in Northampton being reported

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(Western Mass News photos) (Western Mass News photos)
NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

There's been a spike in overdoses in the Northampton area with the local fire department telling us they responded to 4 within a matter of hours. We're also learning from police that one of their officers had to be transported to the hospital when they started experiencing symptoms after responding to one of the calls.  

According to the Northampton Fire Rescue department, the calls began in the afternoon and continued for several hours.

"We did respond to 4 overdoses throughout the city...First one came in mid-afternoon and the last one was around 7 p.m.," explained Northampton Fire Deputy Chief, Chris Norris.

Norris tells Western Mass News that's a lot for one day.

"On a weekly basis probably fair to say, 2 overdoses a week," Norris said.

In all 4 cases, the individuals were transported to the emergency room at Cooley Dickinson Hospital and were stabilized upon arrival, Norris noted. 

The overdoses occurred in the downtown area Friday.

"It was scattered throughout the downtown district area," added Norris. 

Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper explained to Western Mass News that the first two overdoses occurred at the Dunkin' Donuts on King Street. This was within 5 to 10 minutes of each other.

The third overdose call came from Thornes Marketplace on Main St., Kasper confirmed with us. 

No word yet on the exact substance that contributed to these overdoses.

Kasper notes that the type of drugs out there right now are dangerous not just to the people using them, but to the people responding to the scene and to anyone in general assisting someone who has overdosed.

"What we're seeing out there is high potency stuff and if anyone out there helping is experiencing any symptoms they should seek treatment immediately," Kasper explained to Western Mass News, "So if people are overdosing, first aid is important, but we want to caution people when they're assisting that small amounts, visible powders can be dangerous to all involved."

The officer who was transported to the hospital after experiencing symptoms yesterday, was treated and released.

 The Northampton Police Department is actively investigating the situation.

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