Thursday, June 18, 2015

Representative Roy Announces Community Coalition to Combat Opioid Abuse

In light of the recent opioid epidemic that has been plaguing Massachusetts Representative Roy of Franklin will be hosting a Community Coalition on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the Franklin High School Auditorium. This meeting will be open to the public with the goal of establishing a direction for the coalition to take, to hear from experts, and to hear from coalition members in other towns on their progress. 
Representative Roy has been working with a group since February to develop a Community Coalition to combat this epidemic. "While I was pleased to be a part of the discussion, it was unsettling to see the damage that is wreaking havoc on people and their families," said Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin) "We need to do more to help those who struggle daily with the disease of addiction and I think a coalition is the first step." 

Community entrance at Franklin High School
Community entrance at Franklin High School
The Massachusetts Legislature has taken a number of legislative and budgetary steps to get in front of the problem and it has been supportive of efforts to establish community coalitions to confront opioid abuse. Franklin is not alone in discussing and facing the opioid problem—Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey and his colleagues have been spearheading coalitions to fight the epidemic and they have recently included Franklin. 
On June 3, in preparation for the first coalition meeting, Rep. Roy and his team met with D.A. Michael Morrissey and his coalition leaders in Canton for a briefing and discussion on the ways they can combat the opioid epidemic in our community. "Franklin is doing the right things in dealing with the effects of drugs in our region, and particularly the Commonwealth's deadly opiate epidemic," District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey said, "we see prevention coalitions successfully changing attitudes about substance use in other towns. Enforcement and supply interdiction remain important. But groups like this one are key to addressing the demand for drugs in our communities. I applaud the elected officials, police, educators and other community members who are making this happen. I'm glad to support it and offer the help and assistance of my office." 
Franklin Town Councilor Robert Dellorco added his vote of confidence to the coalition by saying, "When I found out about the overwhelming response to the coalition meeting, it reinforced the pride that I have in the Franklin community, and the confidence that together we can make a difference." 
Finally, Rep. Roy and the coalition urge the people of Franklin to watch Dr. Anne Bergen's show, "It Takes a Village," on the Franklin community channel Saturday June 20th at 8:30pm. Rep. Roy and other coalition members appeared on the show to discuss the epidemic and it serves as good background on the issue going into the first coalition meeting. 
For more information on the Franklin Community Coalition please do not hesitate to reach out to Representative Roy or his office at 617-722-2020.

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