|Medicare covers treatment services that can help people recover from opioid use disorder.|
|Medicare covers treatment services that can help people recover from opioid use disorder.|
"In recognition of Overdose Awareness Day, an annual observance in Massachusetts and around the world, Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, Department of Public Health Deputy Commissioner Jennifer Barrelle, DPH Director of Bureau of Substance Addiction Services Deirdre Calvert, and other state and local officials today joined families, friends, and volunteers in planting 20,000 flags on Boston Common, signifying the Massachusetts residents who died as a result of drug overdose in the past 10 years. The Baker-Polito Administration also issued a proclamation declaring August 31st Overdose Awareness Day across the Commonwealth.
The purple flags were planted at the Common’s Liberty Mall in front of the State House to honor and remember individuals who lost their lives to overdose, acknowledge the loss felt by family and friends, raise awareness, and remove the stigma of drug-related deaths. An information booth was set up to offer addiction prevention and recovery support resources."
"THE NUMBER OF OPIOID overdose deaths in Massachusetts rose by 9 percent in 2021, a worrying number in a state that had started seeing some success in addressing the opioid epidemic when COVID-19 hit and reversed that progress.“These are sobering and devastating statistics,” said Deirdre Calvert, director of the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. "
"More people died of opioid-related overdoses in Massachusetts last year than in any previous year, according to a grim new report out Wednesday that reflects both the mental health toll of the pandemic and the pervasiveness of fentanyl-contaminated drugs.The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s twice-yearly opioid report showed that opioid-related deaths surged by 9 percent in 2021, to an all-time high of 2,290 lives lost. That is lower than the 15 percent increase seen nationally. But Massachusetts continues to have a high rate of overdose deaths compared to other states, the 17th highest in 2020, the most recent year for which state-by-state comparisons are available."
"However, according to the State data, Franklin's situation was trending in a better direction. Some 7 people lost their lives in 2018 , 5 in 2019, 3 in 2020, and 3 in 2021."Today's report underscores the harmful impact that the COVID-19 pandemic and the scourge of fentanyl have had on those struggling with addiction, and we are committed to continuing our work with the Legislature and our colleagues in the addiction and recovery community to boost access to services and treatment," Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement."
|2104 purple flags on the Town Common to acknowledge the opioid deaths in 2020|
"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"
"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."
"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"
Shared from Twitter: https://t.co/ypItJfHT3sDownload a copy of the flyer as a reminder:
|Franklin Public Schools, MA announces Critical Conversations - Nov 18|
"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"|
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|
|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|
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|
On the Town Common from 6:30 to 8:00 PM
|Overdose Awareness Day - Aug 31. 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!"
In this episode, Jim Derrick and Dr. Anne Bergen talk with Tim Kennedy about substance abuse disorder, his own recovery and services available.
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."
"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)