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Arlington has seen an increase in the use of heroin over the past year resulting in four fatalities since last October.

Arlington Health and Human Services and Arlington police were the hosts for a free event about Narcan (Naloxone) on Wednesday, April 30, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., at the Senior Center, 27 Maple St.

Narcan is drug used to reverse the effects of opiate overdoses and can be administered before paramedics arrive.


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The event will be held for concerned residents, as well as family and friends of opiate users.

The event will feature representatives from Health Innovations Inc. and will provide attendees with training, certification to carry Narcan and a list of places to obtain Narcan.

To attend the event, RSVP: 781-316-3170 or boh at town.arlington.ma.us.

DA Ryan reports impact in Middlesex County

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan has reported that the "dangers of illegal drug use and abuse, especially the use of heroin, have, unfortunately, become very well known in recent weeks. Since January, in Middlesex County, alone, more than 45 people have died from fatal drug overdoses."

In a recent news release she added: "There is, however, yet another aspect of this deadly issue that we must be addressing and that is how to effectively treat users who have overdosed.  Nasal Naloxone is a safe treatment that reverses the effects of an overdose and, when administered properly, it can mean the difference between life and death. We want every community in Middlesex to have the experience to be able to use it effectively and that’s why we convened this training."

She was referring to "Another Chance: Reversing the Effects of Opiate Overdoses," a train-the-trainer initiative offered to first responders in all Middlesex County communities. The training convened by District Attorney Ryan on April 17 included an in-depth medical educational component led by pharmacist David Morgan and emergency room physician Dr. Daniel Muse. Officers from the Stoughton Police Department then led a hands-on session to give attendees practical experience with administering Nasal Naloxone.

In Middlesex County in 2012, there were 65 fatal overdoses, and in 2013 there were 80, Ryan's release said. To date, in 2014, there have been more than 45 deaths.


This story was published Thursday, April 24, 2014, and updated April 30.