A 60-year-old woman was found dead Sunday at a property on Old South Road following a suspected drug overdose.
Nantucket police officers and EMTs responded to 60 Old South Road around 1:49 p.m. in the afternoon for a report of a woman who was non-responsive. The public safety radio records indicate an ambulance was dispatched for a “possible overdose.”
“A determination was made after arrival that the involved person was deceased,” Nantucket Police Lt. Angus MacVicar said in response to an inquiry from the Current. “The case does not appear suspicious and is currently under investigation by the Nantucket Police Detective Unit and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. No further information will be released at this time.”
MacVicar declined to comment on whether the death was considered to be an overdose, stating that police will not know the official cause of death until a report is released from the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Nantucket physician Dr. Tim Lepore said the woman involved was one of his patients through Addiction Solutions, the non-profit organization he leads that offers a medication-assisted treatment program focused on opioid, drug, and alcohol dependencies.
Lepore said first responders administered Narcan - the medication used to reverse or reduce the effects of opioids - before the woman was determined to be deceased. While a toxicology test and autopsy will confirm the cause of death, Lepore described it as “suspicious for an overdose.”
Fentanyl - the highly potent synthetic opioid - remains the primary concern for people with an addiction on the island, Lepore said.
“It’s out there, people are using, and people are dying from it,” Lepore said.
Sunday’s incident follows two suspected fentanyl overdoses on Nantucket in the past four months.
On Friday, Nov. 4, a 26-year-old man was found dead at a mid-island home. He was later identified as Ariste Lemus-Ramirez. He had recently been indicted on drug trafficking charges following a major fentanyl bust back in March 2022 at his residence at 4 Fifth Way, the home where first responders found him unresponsive.
On Oct. 30, the body of a 24-year-old man was found in Nantucket's State Forest. He was later identified as Esteban Del Angel Perez, of 71 Macy Lane.
Lepore believes there have also been several other non-fatal overdoses on the island over the past few months.
Suspected overdose deaths surged across the United States during the pandemic, reaching an all-time high in 2022, according to CDC data, with opioid-related deaths - primarily fentanyl - driving much of that increase.
On Nantucket, Narcan is available at the following locations:
- Dan’s Pharmacy, 110 Pleasant Street
- Fairwinds: Nantucket's Counseling Center, 20 Vesper Lane, Unit L-1 in Gouin Village.
- Health Imperatives, 20 Vesper Lane, Unit L-3 in Gouin Village.
- Nantucket Cottage Hospital (at the emergency department and the Cottage Pharmacy)
- Nantucket Pharmacy, 45 Main Street
To contact Dr. Lepore’s Addiction Solutions, call (508) 680-4013.