"The Town of Franklin has officially joined the statewide opioid settlement and looks forward to continuing its work at the local level with@SafeCoalitionMA @FranklinPSNews @franklinpolice @FranklinMAfire"
Friday, December 17, 2021
Friday, November 12, 2021
"Opioid overdoses continued to claim the lives of hundreds of Massachusetts residents in 2021. In the first nine months of this year 1,613 residents have died, a 1 percent increase over the same period in 2020, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Public Health.The semiannual report suggests the crisis may be stabilizing after a 5 percent spike in deaths in 2020, when the effects of the pandemic erased the state’s progress in combating illicit opioid use. The annual number of opioid-related deaths peaked at 2,110 in 2016, declined slightly over the next three years, and rose to 2,106 in 2020.Information gathered from emergency medical services providers around the state also point to a leveling-off. The percentage of EMS trips that were related to opioid use, including nonfatal overdoses, changed little from June 2019 to June 2021, hovering at just over 2 percent."
Thursday, November 11, 2021
"Some conversations are better to have sooner rather than later.
Start and continue the talk on Mental Health and Substance Use during our Critical Conversations panel on 11/18 at 6 PM.
Learn more here: https://t.co/yhf1nlYD3s"
Mental Health and Substance Use are two critical issues that have a wide range of impacts among our families and within our community. We invite the Franklin community to join us for an evening of learning, listening, and engaging with local panelists of diverse perspectives representing education, health care, law enforcement, parent/guardians, and people with lived experience.
The evening will include:
- Opening remarks from Jen Knight, Executive Director of the SAFE Coalition
- Panelist Discussion
- Audience General Questions
- Breakout Sessions with each Panelist as well as a Hidden in Plain Sight display facilitated by our SATF Student Representatives
- Detective Mike Colecchi, SAFE Coalition Board Member, Franklin Police Dept.
- Dr. Wendy Cohen, SAFE Medical Director and family practitioner
- Dan Lagarce, Person in Recovery
- Jeff Roy, State Representative
- Jim Derick, SAFE Board of Director President, co-founder and Parent
- Jen Knight-Levine, SAFE Executive Director, co-founder
- Josh Hanna, Franklin High School Principal
Shared from Twitter: https://t.co/ypItJfHT3sDownload a copy of the flyer as a reminder:
|Franklin Public Schools, MA announces Critical Conversations - Nov 18|
Sunday, September 19, 2021
"AS THE COVID-19 pandemic continues to fill headlines, the opioid epidemic grinds on with few signs of improvement. In this research brief we analyze recent data on opioid-related deaths in Massachusetts, including data from the COVID time period, to help us keep sight of a crisis that continues wreaking havoc on lives to this day.
At the peak of the opioid epidemic in 2016, Massachusetts reached 29.7 deaths per 100,000 residents, more than two times the national rate (for further detail on the causes of this increase, please see our 2018 report Opioid Addiction Is a National Crisis. And It’s Twice as Bad in Massachusetts). While this rate has stopped climbing quite so dramatically, as of 2016 it has held steady at historically high rates, remaining in the high 20s per 100,000 and spiking back up to 30 per 100,000 during the peak of the COVID pandemic in 2020.
Fortunately, there are signs that opioid-related overdose deaths may yet decrease in 2021. During a Public Health Council meeting in August, MassDPH presented preliminary data showing that the first six months of 2021 saw an estimated 5 percent decrease in total deaths from the same period in 2020, which would roughly bring Massachusetts back to 2019 levels. "
|"Opioid epidemic grinds on in Mass. at elevated rates"|
Wednesday, September 1, 2021
I had been out on my daily walk, approaching the Town Common and saw folks putting out purple flags. Remembered that International Overdose Awareness Day - Aug 31 was going to be celebrated with a vigil and prayers here later today. As I got closer I recognized Jim Derick and asked if he needed a hand. He did and pointed me to the box of flags.
I got busy spreading them out.
2104. Two thousand, one hundred and four.
Say that slowly. Let the number sink in. That is the number of MA residents who left us during 2020 due to an overdose. Recall a couple of years ago, the prevalence of the #2069 signs. While there is more help available today, the struggle is real.
I did go back to the Town Common for 6:30 PM
Jen Knight-Levine and Jim Derick opened the gathering welcoming the 70-80 folks who showed up.
|Jen Knight-Levine and Jim Derick opened the gathering welcoming the 70-80 folks who showed up|
Rev Kathy McAdams and Rev Eric Cherry provided a moment of reflection
|Rev Kathy McAdams and Rev Eric Cherry jointly provided a moment of reflection|
Kathy Truitt told the story of her and her son's struggles and how it empowers her to this day.
|Kathy Truitt told the story of her and her son's struggles|
The group took a brief candle light walk on the Common to the Veterans Walkway for a final prayer.
|a brief candle light walk on the Common to the Veterans Walkway for a final prayer|
For me, the one photo that tells the story of the evening and the constant struggle.
|the one photo that tells the story of the evening and the constant struggle|
Sunday, August 29, 2021
The SAFE Coalition and local leaders will gather for a vigil on Tuesday, August 31st at 6:30 PM in observance of International Overdose Awareness Day.
All are welcome to attend. https://t.co/8U5XPVNfj6Shared from Twitter: https://twitter.com/TOFranklinMA/status/1431713966003208193?s=03
|International Overdose Awareness Day - August 31, 2021|
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
On the Town Common from 6:30 to 8:00 PM
|Overdose Awareness Day - Aug 31. 2021|
Saturday, July 10, 2021
"Over the past couple of months our Peer to Peer Group created, filmed and edited a Mini Video Series about the 7 Types of Abuse as a way to raise awareness about Intimate Partner Violence.
⬇️ Check out Episode 1 below!
🎯 Tune in each week for a new episode!"
Monday, July 5, 2021
Sunday, July 4, 2021
In this episode, Jim Derrick and Dr. Anne Bergen talk with Tim Kennedy about substance abuse disorder, his own recovery and services available.
Saturday, July 3, 2021
Friday, July 2, 2021
Sunday, May 23, 2021
Saturday, October 10, 2020
From CommonWealth Magazine we share an article of interest for Franklin:
"HE HAD JUST LOST his father to COVID-19. His dad had succumbed to this relentless disease while living in a long-term care facility. He was just beginning to cope with that loss.
Then, it got worse.
Two weeks later, he lost his son. His son died after a long-term battle with opioid addiction, stolen by an epidemic that has been raging since well before the pandemic – and still rages today.
What made these losses even more traumatic? Unable to hold a funeral or have any real way to join together with loved ones, he couldn’t say good-bye to either. The pandemic had taken that from him as well.
This is the tragic story of one family in Massachusetts. The pandemic has impacted so many more. And for those struggling with addiction, or who have a loved one who is, it’s brought a whole new set of challenges and hardship."
Sunday, July 12, 2020
"For the third time in as many days, Senate Republicans prevented debate on a wide-ranging police reform bill, but it appears the Senate could launch into its debate on Monday.
State Sen. Ryan Fattman, R-Sutton, used a procedural motion to postpone debate - asking that all of the nearly 130 amendments to the bill be printed in the Senate calendar.
Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, said there is bipartisan agreement on 80% to 90% of the bill, but a section dealing with qualified immunity of law enforcement officers is dividing the Senate. He said a bill that’s less expansive and focuses on areas of agreement is more likely to yield “timely action.”
Qualified immunity is a doctrine that prohibits civil rights suits against government officials where unconstitutional conduct had not been clearly established as illegal at the time it occurred."Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
"Parents who have lost children to opioid overdoses gathered Friday outside the State House to urge the governor to lower flags to half-staff in honor of International Overdose Awareness Day, part of a national push to get all 50 states to bring flags down halfway on the day.
The Massachusetts-based nonprofit Team Sharing organized the event and works with parents who have lost a child to substance use disorder by providing social networking, grief services, and advocacy.
“If you ever have gone to a funeral and and watched a mom put her child in the ground, oh, my gosh, you’d do anything for them,” said Marlborough resident Cheryl Juaire, whose son Corey Merrill died in 2011 from an overdose. “He’s sending a clear message that he doesn’t care, and that’s what we’re really upset about. There was not a good enough reason why he couldn’t do it.”
Baker has focused on reducing opioid overdoses during his time in office and the governor’s office plans to issue a proclamation on Aug. 31 declaring the day as International Overdose Awareness Day but said in a letter Thursday that U.S. Flag Code authorizes only certain, specific reasons for the lowering of the U.S. flag to half-staff."Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
Friday, June 12, 2020
In this role, the Senior Year intern will focus on SAFE Coalition program development, holding tours, collaborating with other high school substance use programs, aid in preparation for classroom based and evening support groups. The Senior Year Intern will also be asked to enter volunteer data, engage in substance use awareness training, and host Narcan trainings.Responsibilities and Duties:
- Attend and co-lead weekly Peer to Peer program
- Support office staff with daily tasks and needs
- Develop and maintain all training needs as designated by the SAFE Coalition
- Meet with Executive Director weekly for 30 minutes for supervision
- Develop a style of communication with community leaders and stakeholders
- Enhanced awareness around medical systems of care and state/federal benefits
- Establish a deep understanding of person centered recovery work and HIPPA regulations
- Develop relationships with other local high school substance use awareness programs
- Franklin High School Senior
- Desire to advance in psychology, social services, mental health, science field
- No experience needed, prior healthcare or volunteer experience preferred
- Must be able to pass Massachusetts CORI test
- If under 18 years old, legal guardian must agree to volunteer program
The PEERS Franklin High School Senior Intern will be granted this $5,000 scholarship at the end of the school year
Are you interested in applying?
Please send a letter of interested to:
Attention: Jennifer Levine
PO Box 434
Franklin MA, 02038
Letter must include:
- Why this internship is important to you
- What you hope to learn during your internship
- How you feel like you can positively enhance your peer community with your experience
Letters due by: August 1, 2020
|Apply for the PEERS Franklin High School Senior Year Internship!|
Saturday, May 23, 2020
This session shares my conversation with Jim Derick and Jennifer Levine of the SAFE Coalition. We had our conversation via conference bridge to adhere to the ‘social distancing’ requirements of this pandemic period.
We walked through the development of the Coalition from the first meeting at FHS through to the evolution to where they are now, with a facility in Norfolk and Jen in the role of Executive Director. From what was truly a ‘coalition’ of stakeholders volunteering and making things happen to the newly evolved Board and Executive Director non-profit format to better accomplish their service delivery. And they are continuing to adjust during this pandemic.
Among the topics covered:
- Recovery is a journey
- Vaping and addiction cessation
- Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
- FHS high school peer-to-peer group
- Newsletter monthly
- Fundraising begins in earnest to support the new delivery model
SAFE Coalition, www.safecoalitionma.org, Franklin, 508-488-8105
Turning Point Recovery Center, Walpole (508) 668-3960
Wayside Youth and Family Support, www.waysideyouth.org, Milford, 508-478-6888
Riverside Community Care, www.riversidecc.org, Milford, 800-294-4665
Techtogether.co This resource highlights support programs online nationwide
Learn 2 Cope parent peer-to-peer support firstname.lastname@example.org
Road 2 Recovery - 12 step meeting for parents and loved ones contact Jim Derick email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Franklin Public Schools Substance Abuse Taskforce https://www.franklinps.net/district/substance-abuse-education
SAFE Coalition supports:
- Peer to Peer mentorship
- Peer to Peer parent mentorship
- Zoom Group Programming:
- Mondays: Learn2Cope
- Wednesdays: Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
- Wednesdays: 12 Step for Parents of those with children who are living with an addiction
- Saturdays: Parents general support group
- Grief Counselor
- Section 35 aid
- Narcan Training
- Narcan Dispensing
- Medication Disposal
- Vaping education program in partnership with Stanford University
- Direct clinical counseling in partnership with Wayside Youth and Family Support Systems
- Referrals to all levels of substance use and mental health treatment
- One on One care planning
- Public and Private Consulting
- Support Line: 508-488-8105
*All services are free of charge. Donations accepted.
We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm).
This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.
How can you help?
- If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors
- If you don't like something here, please let me know
Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.
For additional information, please visit Franklinmatters.org/
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com
The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana" c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.
I hope you enjoy!
You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"
|FM #274 SAFE Coalition - Their Story 5/13/20 (audio)|
Friday, March 6, 2020
Representative Roy is a founding member and Director of SAFE Coalition.
The award has been named for Representative Roy in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to prevention, destigmatization and treatment of Substance Use Disorder.
The “Jeffrey N. Roy - Excellence in Public Service Award“ will be awarded annually to a person(s) who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to prevention and/or treatment of Substance Use Disorder.
SAFE Coalition president Jennifer Levine said, “Since helping to launch the coalition in 2015 Jeff Roy has been a tireless advocate for those impacted by Substance use Disorder. Jeff provided the leadership our organization needed in its early formation and has secured over $150,000 for SAFE in state funding that has enabled us to do our work."
About SAFE Coalition, Inc
SAFE is a regional coalition of community partners in Western Norfolk County (serving Franklin, Foxboro, Mansfield, Medway, Norfolk, Plainville, Walpole, Wrentham and surrounding towns) who have come together to provide a pathway for support, education, treatment options and coping mechanisms for those affected by substance use disorder. We do so by empowering those affected, including their families, with the tools necessary to succeed on their journey to recovery https://www.safecoalitionma.org/
|L-R Jennifer Levine, Rep Jeff Roy, Jim Derrick (Facebook photo via Rep Roy and SAFE Coalition)|
Saturday, February 15, 2020
"When Plainville resident Robin Hamlin found a bottle of OxyContin in her son’s bedroom, he confessed that he needed help.
“He sat down on our couch. Actually, just like this,” said Hamlin, pointing to a framed photo of her son – Brian Hamlin Jr. – sitting on their living room couch, both elbows resting on his thighs with his hands clasped loosely together.
The photo is nailed to a wall, under a banner reading, “Brian Hamlin Jr. Recovery Resource Center.”
“With tears pouring down his face, he said, ‘Mom, I’m in trouble,‘” she said. “I need help, I can’t stop.’”
Brian Hamlin Jr. died on June 11, 2014, at age 32. He had a seizure following an addiction to painkillers, though he was in recovery at the time of his death.
To honor his memory, the new, centralized location for the Support for Addicts and Families through Empowerment (SAFE) Coalition is dedicated to him. Previously based out of Franklin and borrowing space for meetings and support groups to help those struggling with substance abuse, the coalition moved to a permanent location at 206 Dedham St., Suite E, in Norfolk on Thursday night."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
Visit the SAFE Coalition on the web https://www.safecoalitionma.org/
|The SAFE Coalition opened their new office in Norfolk and they they did not do it alone|
Monday, February 10, 2020
"After years of borrowing space for meetings and support groups to help people with substance abuse disorders, the SAFE Coalition will finally have a home soon.Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
Next month, the grassroots organization will hold an open house at its first permanent office: 206 Dedham St., Suite E, at the corner of routes 1A and 115 in Norfolk.
The open house will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13.
“Opening this office and conference space will allow us to grow and more efficiently provide services to those communities that mean so much to us. We will no longer have to store our materials in our collective garages. We are now able to centralize many of our services,” Steve Spiewakowski, the secretary of the board of directors for SAFE, said in an email."
For more about the SAFE Coalition, visit their web page https://www.safecoalitionma.org/
|In the News: "staffed entirely by volunteers"|