The $360,000 balance in the Worcester DA’s grant will create a similar effort; it will pay for a new study through Fitchburg State University to track overdose deaths, nonfatal overdoses, and crime; that data will be used to create a map of local opioid activity. The mapping will initially cover Fitchburg, but could expand to other parts of the state depending on available funding.
That information certainly could have helped Greater Lowell officials better understand the July spike in opioid-related EMS calls — 99 in Lowell alone. Of these, 51 were Priority 1 calls, meaning without treatment, those stricken would have likely died.
Such mapping ability also would help state health officials keep tabs on and maybe even anticipate changing patterns in drug use, like the emergence of fentanyl-laced cocaine as the primary cause of opioid overdoses.
Read the full article on the Lowell Sun website.