The S.A.F.E. (Support for Addicts and Families by Empowerment) Board is pleased to confirm that Professor Robert Putnam, the author of Bowling Alone and Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, has accepted our invitation to speak at our next coalition meeting on February 2, 2016 at Franklin High School.
The coalition meeting begins at 7 p.m., and we expect Prof. Putnam to speak between 7:30 pm and 8:45 pm. He will begin with a presentation and then will sit down with Dr. Anne Bergen for a one on one dialogue.
Our Kids is a groundbreaking examination of the growing inequality gap and why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. You can learn more about the book and research by clicking here. Bowling Alone talks about how we have become increasingly disconnected from one another and how social structures have disintegrated. It should be a fascinating talk and of particular interest to those wishing to understand the sociological climate surrounding the opioid crisis.
Our February 29, 2016 meeting will feature Chris Herren, a former Boston Celtic player and founder of the Herren Project, who will speak about his own substance use disorder and the importance of a healthy lifestyle and good decision making. He will also provide "real-world" techniques on how to handle pressure within a teen's life, community or family situation.
Please continue to spread the word about S.A.F.E., encourage your friends to sign up for this newsletter by clicking here. And please do not hesitate to reach out if you or someone you know is in need. We'll do our best to get you on the right path.
SAFE members Jeff Roy, Jim Derick, and Mike Gervais traveled to East Bridgewater to observe EBHope's outreach center which provides 4 hours of community-based meetings for persons with substance abuse disorder and/or affected family members. The center convenes twice a month at a centralized location in that community to act as a gatekeeper and notify residents about substance abuse services that are available to everyone before an overdose or fatality occurs.
SAFE will be discussing a similar proposal for our region at its next board meeting this month. We hope to grow the program into a community center-like system where residents can go to find answers and advice.
House opioid bill filed
An opioid abuse prevention bill tagged for debate by House Speaker Robert DeLeo later this month is moving through the committee process in the House. DeLeo has said he hopes the House can vote on the legislation before the end of January.
The bill, among its many provisions, would limit first-time patients to a seven-day supply of opioid medication and require substance abuse evaluations before overdose patients are discharged. The bill would also set an evaluation requirement for overdose victims who seek help at hospital emergency rooms.
The House bill seeks to end a longstanding policy of placing women with civil commitments for substance abuse – but who have not committed crimes – into the state prison for women in Framingham.
It also includes legal protections for anyone administering the overdose-reversing Narcan to a person during an opiate overdose and requires a doctor to check the Prescription Monitoring Program every time a patient is prescribed a high-risk opiate medication.
The bill includes numerous other provisions including:
requiring schools to have a plan for teaching students about drug addiction;
requiring schools to teach student-athletes about addiction to prescription painkillers;
making doctors write the reason for an opioid prescription in the patient's medical record;
allowing patients to voluntarily limit their access to opiate medications;
requiring the state to provide transportation for students attending recovery high schools; and
expanding the prescription monitoring program to track Gabapentin, a drug that has increasingly been abused.
Just before 7:00pm on a Monday, the Chestnut Street parking lot of the First Universalist Society begins to fill with cars. People make their way to the sanctuary as they do every Monday night to attend Franklin's Learn to Cope meeting, a support group for parents and family members whose loved ones are grappling with substance use disorder.
As 7:00 pm approaches, more than 40 people fill the church for the meeting. While many of the stories shared are painful and tragic, there are many others that talk about how their loved one is in long term recovery from this disease. These stories offer people hope and remind us of the fact that people can and do recover and go on to live happy, healthy and productive lives.
Learn to Cope meetings are peer led meetings designed support those who have a loved one struggling with the disease of substance abuse disorder. They are run by community members who have been trained as facilitators. Meetings provide a confidential and anonymous forum where members have the opportunity to express their feelings, find resources and ask questions of those who have traveled this road before.
Founded in 2004 by Joanne Peterson, a mother whose son struggled with chemical dependency, the organization has 21 chapters in Massachusetts. In addition to support, attendees may receive Narcan and training in it's proper administration free of charge. Narcan is an opiate overdose reversal drug which can revive an individual quickly while first responders make there way to the scene.
Meetings are open to anyone with a family member struggling with any type of addiction. The Franklin Chapter meets every Monday night from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at the First Unitarian Universalist Society, 262 Chestnut Street in Franklin. Please visit www.learn2cope.org for more information and resources. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call Jim Derick at 508-596-4985.
Our Kids is a groundbreaking examination of the growing inequality gap and why fewer Americans today have the opportunity for upward mobility. You can learn more about the book and research by clicking here.
Bowling Alone talks about how we have become increasingly disconnected from one another and how social structures have disintegrated.
Join us for a fascinating talk about the sociological climate surrounding the opioid crisis.
SUPPORT SERVICES AVAILABLE
Learn to Cope meets on Monday evenings at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 262 Chestnut Street in Franklin at 7 p.m. The group offers support for families struggling with addiction and recovery. Its preserves anonymity and creates a safe place for people and families in crisis. For more information visit the website at http://learn2cope.org/, call Kathy Getchell at (774)893-3878, or email her at email@example.com
Community of Hope hosts a family support group meeting every Wednesday night in the Milford Regional Medical Center, Hill Building, Woman's Pavilion, 4th Floor, in Milford. The program is a support group for family members or loved ones of people who suffer from addiction (similar to "Lean to Cope"). For more information, contact Katie Truitt at (774)248-4526 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Big Book Workshop, 12 step meeting for recovery. Wednesday evenings, 7 pm to 8:30 pm at Community Impact, 211 Main Street Milford, MA 01757. For more information, contact Meghan Giacomuzzi at 508-933-4571. Meghan (Katie Truitt's daughter) is the founder and chair of the Missin' Matt Foundation and a recovering heroin addict.
Healing Hearts has begun meeting on Thursday evenings on the second floor of the Franklin YMCA at 45 Forge Hill Road in Franklin at 7 p.m. The group offers support for families struggling with addiction and recovery. Its preserves anonymity and creates a safe place" for people and families in crisis. For more information, call (508) 570-6996or send an email to Healingheartscircle@gmail.com.