Frederick County, (VA) -- The apparent overdose death of a Frederick County man is the latest in a string of 2014 heroin-related deaths being investigated by the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force. Since Jan. 1, 2014, this is the seventh reported heroin-related death in the region.
The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office responded to a residence in the 200 block of Chatham Square, just outside the city limits of Winchester, Thursday night (March 13, 2014), and discovered Nicholas J. Tallmadge, 34, of New York, N.Y., deceased. His remains were transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Manassas for examination and autopsy.
“Heroin-related deaths’ alarming rise across the Commonwealth continues and most commonly among males between the ages of 25 and 34,” said Virginia State Police Special Agent Jay Perry, NW VA Drug and Gang Task Force coordinator. “In 2013, heroin was a causative factor in 197 deaths in the Commonwealth, up from 123 deaths in 2012.
According to the Partnership for a Drug Free America, the highly-addictive nature of heroin has a life-threatening impact on the user’s body: Long-term effects of heroin appear after repeated use for some period of time. Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, cellulites, and liver disease. Pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may result from the poor health condition of the abuser, as well as from heroin’s depressing effects on respiration. In addition to the effects of the drug itself, street heroin may have additives that do not really dissolve and result in clogging the blood vessels that lead to the lungs, liver, kidneys, or brain. This can cause infection or even death of small patches of cells in vital organs. With regular heroin use, tolerance develops. This means the abuser must use more heroin to achieve the same intensity or effect.
The NVRDG Task Force includes the following law enforcement agencies: Clarke County, Frederick County, Page County, Shenandoah County and Warren County sheriffs’ offices; Town of Front Royal and Strasburg police departments; City of Winchester Police Department; and Virginia State Police.
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