By Seth Daniel
Four people in Chelsea died of suspected opiate overdoses in a 48-hour period last weekend, with a fifth dying in Revere as well.
The surge in opiate deaths sparked Chief Brian Kyes to issue a community public health alert on Sunday, Aug. 13, warning everyone that it appeared a batch of illegal drugs on the streets of the area was dangerous and likely laced with Fentanyl.
“The Chelsea Police Department and State Police Detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office are investigating a sudden spike in overdoses, some fatal, within the last 48 hours,” read the alert. “The police want to alert the community of the danger of this recent influx of Fentanyl into the area which could possibly be the cause of these incidents. Police are actively seeking to find the source through chemical analysis.”
Kyes said the deaths happened so fast that he felt like there was a need to alert the public.
“We had four deaths from overdoses and Revere had one in a 48-hour period,” he said. “That’s five in our general area in a 48-hour period. Based on that spike and the overdose fatalities in only 48 hours, I sent out a warning in the form of a community alert or public health alert to let people know there appeared to be illegal drugs on the street that could be laced with Fentanyl and dangerous.”
On Friday, the first Chelsea overdose and death happened in the early evening when a 65-year-old man died. At 10 p.m. on Friday, a 28-year-old woman overdosed and died.
In Revere on Friday, an unidentified man died in the afternoon from a suspected drug overdose.
Back in Chelsea, on Saturday, a 48-year-old man overdosed and died.
Finally, on Sunday, a man was found outside in the shrubbery behind Beth Israel on Broadway who had overdosed and was deceased.
Kyes said that made 11 deaths from overdoses in Chelsea this year, which is actually lower that at this time last year.