From March through May, 32 people overdosed in Falmouth, resulting in six deaths.
The Falmouth police continue to battle the opioid epidemic in town. Police Chief Edward A. Dunne provided an update on their efforts at the Monday, June 3, board of selectmen meeting.
Whenever there is an overdose, the Falmouth police conduct a home visit and attempt to connect the victim to services. During the past three months, the department conducted 13 home visits, resulting in 12 people accepting treatment.
“We will go and seek them out and explain what services are available to them,” Chief Dunne said. “We also explain—to the families, too—what services are available.”
He said the department cannot always conduct this home visit, as some overdose victims are homeless and others live out-of-town. In the latter case, the police notify the victim’s local police department regarding the overdose.
Of the 12 individuals who accepted treatment, eight have gone into detox, three into outpatient care and one enrolled in a 12-step program.
“These people didn’t accept the initial help, but after the home visit, they thought about it, talked to other people and then reached out to a representative to get help,” Chief Dunne said. “We are going to continue that program.”
The department also issued 41 Section 35 warrants. A Section 35 warrant is an involuntary committal for drugs or alcohol.
“It is our policy in the police department, if we deal with you twice on an overdose, we will Section 35 you,” Chief Dunne said.
Police officers also administered Narcan to 12 overdose victims during the past three months.
In total, the Falmouth Police Department responded to 5,675 calls between March 1 and May 31.
“That down’s by 8.76 percent from the same time last year,” Chief Dunne said. “Last year, we have 6,220 calls. Some of these calls are taking a little more time and are a little more in-depth, but we’re still happy to see the call volume down.’
Of these 5,675 calls, 2,636 were self-initiated by the police department and 3,039 were called in through dispatch.