Wednesday, August 12, 2015

“Who is this epidemic killing? Kids in their mid-twenties. That would be me in 10 years.”

Why do teenagers get involved to help with the opioid epidemic? One can easily understand how the parents get involved. Concern for their children and the children of close friends are good reasons. But teens? What brings them to the issue?

In the case of Ben Waters, he felt he really needed to help. He is working on his Eagle Scout badge and needed a project. This would fit the requirements. But that is too easy an answer. The more he found out about the epidemic, the more he realized he had to help.

“Who is this epidemic killing? Kids in their mid-twenties. That would be me in 10 years.” Ben and I met recently at Panera Bread to discuss the epidemic and the efforts of the coalition.

Coalition meeting Aug 12, 7:00 PM
Coalition meeting Aug 12, 7:00 PM
Ben had reached out to Jeff Roy offering to help. He went to visit the Norfolk District Attorney’s office and started meeting others involved from the various coalitions that had formed. He heard about a coalition meeting in Needham and went. He was impressed by what he heard from Dr. John F. Kelly, the director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service at Mass General Hospital. Dr Kelly was the speaker that night at the Needham meeting.

He reached out to Dr Kelly to arrange for him to speak in Franklin. This is what is scheduled for Wednesday night in the Franklin High School Auditorium at 7:00 PM.

He has spent time going door to door, handing out flyers to spread the word. Dr Kelly has information that both parents and kids need to hear. When we got together for this talk, his enthusiasm seemed boundless. All that energy and drive is going to do some good, especially for those in and around the opioid epidemic.

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