GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The opioid epidemic continues to kill in Massachusetts. More than 1,500 people died from drug overdoses in Massachusetts last year, the most ever.
“I should try and protect my family as much as i can because something like this worries me a lot,” said Maria Carey of Bernardston. “I just think it’s very sad.”
The Massachusetts State Police and their K-9 police dogs are on the front lines in the war on drugs. Starting in January, officers will carry injectable naloxone. A shot of this medication can save their dogs from an overdose of opiates, which are becoming increasingly more powerful.
One of the reasons why State Police want increased protection for their K-9 units is because of the substance Fetanyal, which can be 100 times more potent than heroin and lethal to the dogs. It’s also highly addictive to humans.
Greenfield “Recover Project” Director Michael Lewis told 22News progress is being made in the fight against the opioid epidemic. “The entire community has to come together and we’re working on that here. it’s slow, it’s happening, it’s tough, but it will take all of society to make it work.”
Lewis said modern-day heroin is 300 times more powerful than it was in the 1970’s.
State Police spokesman Dave Procopio told 22News they are still researching naloxone to ensure the safety of their dogs.
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