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Overdoses prompt Plymouth police to warn about street drugs: ‘It isn’t the ’80s’

Cops urged St. Patrick’s Day revelers to “stick with Green Beer and grab a rideshare home” after recent fentanyl overdoses.

Plymouth police cautioned the public about the dangers of taking illicit substances after three people overdosed on fentanyl, thinking they had taken different drugs.

The Plymouth Police Department posted the warning on its Facebook page Thursday morning, along with a photo of two bags of blue and white pills.

Police said they, along with Plymouth fire and Brewster EMS, responded to three separate fentanyl overdoses Wednesday in which the victims said they believed they were taking other drugs, like pills and cocaine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It can be deadly in small doses and causes over 150 deaths in the U.S. daily. Most of those deaths are related to illicitly-manufactured fentanyl. 

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In two of Wednesday’s incidents, responders had to administer naloxone, also known as Narcan, to halt the effects of an opiate overdose. Police said the Narcan likely saved the life of one of those people, as officers found the person “blue in the face” due to a lack of oxygen. 

Police wrote in their Facebook post: “As we find ourselves one day away from one of the biggest party holidays of the year, please let this be a warning: If you make the decision to put an (illegal) ‘bump’ into your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, remember that you have no idea what it is you’re actually getting. It isn’t the 1980s anymore and it might just kill you.”

Instead, police urged St. Patrick’s Day revelers to “stick with Green Beer and grab a rideshare home.”

Last month, the Boston Public Health Commission warned of a concerning spike in the number of opioid-related deaths among people who thought they were using cocaine. Health officials said that people who mainly use uppers like cocaine may not have a tolerance for opioids like fentanyl, which suppresses breathing, making them more vulnerable to an overdose. 

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In 2021, a state detection program found that 12 percent of Boston cocaine samples tested positive for fentanyl.

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