Showing posts with label drugs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label drugs. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Franklin TV Broadcast: It Takes A Village: Drug Panel

The panel discussion lead by Dr Anne Bergen and Franklin's town leaders on the crisis around opiate use and misuse will be aired on Verizon (channel 26) and Comcast (channel 8) on the following days this week:

  • Tuesday, June 16th - 9:00 am
  • Wednesday, June 17th at 7:00 am
  • Franklin TV
    Franklin TV
  • Saturday, June 20 at 8:30 pm

The interview with Norfolk Country District Attorney on the same issue will be aired on Thursday evening, June 18 at 6:30 pm.

For the full listing of shows on the broadcast schedule for this week, check here

Friday, June 12, 2015

"Stop the Silence. Speak the Truth. Start the Conversation".

Patricia Byrne writes:

Patricia's son Kurt
"It’s time to Stop the Silence. It’s time to Speak the Truth. My son is a heroin addict. I want to wear a t-shirt, a hat, a pin, something. I want a suffering family member or addict to see me in the grocery store and be able to walk up and say ‘me too’. I want families to not feel isolated and alone in this hell that is Addiction. It is everywhere, and we are hiding it because we feel guilty and ashamed. I have seen in people’s eyes in the past that they knew my son was an addict. But they also didn’t know if I knew, and I wasn’t shouting it from the rooftops. So the elephant was with me everywhere I went. We lived in a small town. I was sure everyone knew. I was sure my son’s name was whispered when I wasn’t there. Yet I stayed silent.  
My son is in recovery. He has been clean and sober for 16 months. It’s a miracle he’s alive. That miracle cost us a small fortune. True recovery is not cheap and it is not easy. It is not five days of detox, have a nice day. It is not a thirty day stint in rehab, have a nice life. It is a slow, slogging, exhausting crawl out of the muddy nasty pit Addiction digs under you."

Continue reading her article here

Help is coming to Franklin. There is a meeting at the Franklin High School auditorium on Tuesday, June 30 - 7:00 PM to form a "Community Coalition" to address the heroin and opiate drug problem the community faces. It can be solved, not by putting additional police on the streets but by providing the support to the individuals and families that need it.

Additional information on the Community Coalition can be found here

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Community Coalition on Opiate Addiction to meet June 30

Posted on June 8, 2015 by 
Community Coalition preliminary meeting
Community Coalition preliminary meeting
A few weeks ago, the Franklin Town Council hosted a thoughtful discussion on the opioid epidemic. While I was pleased to be a part of that discussion, it was unsettling to see the damage that is wreaking havoc on people and their families; those who struggle daily with the disease of addiction.
No community is immune from this crisis, but there are multi-faceted ways to address it. The Legislature has taken a number of steps through laws and budget appropriations to get in front of the problem. And it has been supportive of efforts to establish community coalitions to confront opioid abuse. Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey has taken the lead in establishing coalitions throughout Norfolk County and he is happy to add Franklin to the list.
Plans for a Franklin Coalition are well under way and we will meet for the first time on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at 7 p.m. in the Franklin High School Auditorium. At the first meeting, we will have an opportunity to discuss the mission and objectives of the coalition, hear from Community Coalition members from other towns, and hear from some experts in the field about how to address the opioid epidemic which is plaguing Massachusetts communities. We will also have a chance to talk about what we would like to see in Franklin.
On June 3, in preparation for our first coalition meeting, we met with Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey and his Coalition Leaders in Canton (see photo above). Jenn Rowe and Ryan Walker from his office have been spearheading this effort for Norfolk County. Franklin Town Councilor Robert Dellorco, Franklin Detective John Ryan, student Ben Waters, counselor Jennifer Knight, and legislative aide Chris Yancich joined us for this briefing and discussion on the ways that we can combat the opioid epidemic in our community. The information will prove helpful in the formation of our community coalition.
In preparation for our first coalition meeting, please watch the Franklin Town Council meeting from May 20, 2015. You can view it by clicking here. You can also view the Milford Daily News report on the meeting by clicking here. In addition, you are urged to read the the Massachusetts Health Council's report entitled Local Approaches to the Opioid Overdose Epidemic:How Massachusetts Communities Are Responding Today. You can view that report by clicking here.
Finally, you are urged to view Dr. Anne Bergen's TV show "It Takes a Village" on Franklin.TV where the topic is discussed. I was honored to join the Police Chief, Town Administrator, and Superintendent of Schools on that show to discuss the opiate problem. It was a fascinating discussion as we explored the things that are happening at the state and local level to improve and save lives tarnished by addiction. To see when the show will be aired, click here for Franklin.TV's directory. You can also find the Milford Daily News report on the show by clicking here.
If you know anyone who is interested in being a part of the coalition, tell them they can sign up to be on the email distribution list by clicking here. And you should feel free to forward this email to your friends and colleagues and urge them to sign up for this effort.
It will take a team effort to take on this epidemic, but together we can save lives and heal fractured families. I look forward to working with you.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Franklin Police share resources on preventing overdoses

During the Town Council meeting last week, Chief Stephan Semerjian mentioned that the Police Department was posting resources on their webpage to help share the information. 

Here is the info shared:

14 Rules Never to Break with Dealing with Addiction

signs of heroin abuse - shared from the Franklin Police page
signs of heroin abuse - shared from the Franklin Police page


The term opioid designates a class of drugs derived naturally from the opium poppy (opium, morphine, codeine), synthesized or derived from a natural opiate (heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone), or manufactured synthetically with a chemical structure similar to opium (fentanyl, methadone). Among their many effects, opioids depress breathing by changing neurochemical activity in the brainstem where automatic bodily functions are controlled. 


An overdose occurs when opioid concentrations are so high in the body that they begin to cause respiratory depression. Overdoses can be further characterized as being either non-fatal (loss of consciousness and depressed breathing) or fatal (respiration ceases and/or cardiac arrest ensues) (Warner-Smith, et al, 2001). 
Overdose is a common experience among opioid users. In a review of the literature on overdoses, Darke and Hall (2003) found that at least half of opioid users in cross-sectional studies report a history of non-fatal overdose, many of whom report overdosing multiple times. Additionally, Darke and Zador (1996) report that opioid users have mortality rates that are between six and twenty times those of their peers. These authors go on to report that deaths attributable to overdose are the most common cause of death among opioid users. 
In a report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in December 2011, drug overdose was identified as the cause of death for over 41,000 people in 2008 (Warner, et al, 2011). With the rate nearly tripling in the past three decades, drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death nationally, exceeding motor vehicle accidents; in 2008, there were 38,000 motor vehicle deaths. 
While the CDC report identifies overdose as a national issue, the northeast region is disproportionately affected. In its 2011 New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (NE HIDTA) Drug Market Analysis, the National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) noted, “opioid abuse remains the most significant drug threat to the NE HIDTA – (NDIC, 2011). The authors identify pharmaceutical opioid abuse as the driving factor behind this increase. Evidence suggests that pharmaceutical opioid abusers often switch from prescription medications to heroin due to its lower cost and greater purity.

Continue reading more from the Mass Dept of Health brochure (PDF) here

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New videos touting Franklin previewed, more on the way to address opiate drug problem

Franklin will get to showcase itself with five new advertising videos. The five spots were viewed by the Town Council last night. The video spots run about 1:30 to 2:00 minutes each and tout the benefits of Franklin. The spots are meant to be used to advertise Franklin at conferences and such occasions. 

The Horace Mann statue committee was created and the following members named to it: Debbie Pellegri, Charles Oteri, Jeff Roy, Mary Olsson, Lisa Piana, and Robert Dellorco. Tom Mercer was added to the previously published listing of committee members.

Three citizens spoke up about the proposed gas pipeline that is slated to be brought through Franklin. There is a Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board hearing scheduled for Thursday, May 28th at the Council Chambers.

Considerable time and discussion was spent on the opiate drug problem that Franklin is affected by along with many other communities in the Commonwealth. Police Chief Stephan Semerjian, Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey, Representative Jeff Roy spoke of their efforts collaborating to address the growing issue. Among the new efforts to address this will be the formation of a coalition to bring together the many organizations that are affected by the problem. The students at Panther TV will be working with the Police Chief to develop some public service video announcements.

Police Chief Semerjian and his team address the Town Council
Police Chief Semerjian and his team address the Town Council

The Council approved of the purchase of 20 acres of land along Lincoln St to add to existing property already owned by Franklin and marked for open space. The purchase of this land by the open space funds would prevent the land from being re-purposed for a fire substation which caused Councilor Kelly to cast the only no vote. The measure passed 8-1.

My notes reported live during the meeting can be found here:

time to “get up to speed”

With the current town clerk not seeking re-election this November, town officials will likely reduce the salary for the position by about $10,000. 
Longtime town clerk Deborah Pellegri announced early last month that she would not be taking nomination papers for the biennial town election. 
Last year, Pellegri received about a $10,000 raise, bringing her salary to more than $80,000. Town Administrator Jeffrey Nutting said at the time that Pellegri’s pay was roughly 13 percent less than the state average.
Continue reading the article here

For other items of note in the FY 2016 budget you can refer to the reporting on the budget hearings here

Since taking office in 2010, Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey each year has noted a rise in deaths resulting from overdoses of heroin and other opioids. 
Two years ago there were 63 deaths, he said; in 2014, there were 94. And before he left his Canton office Wednesday, the count for this year stood, already, at 58, including one during the day. 
“It’s the single largest problem I have as a district attorney,” Morrissey said, referring to the state’s opioid epidemic. “It’s the largest killer of young people.”
Conitnue reading the article here

Saturday, May 16, 2015

In the News: drug arrests, drug problem, Cultural Festival fund raiser

Five people were arrested last week as part of a month-long investigation into a local heroin distribution organization, the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office said Friday. 
Nathan Freeman, 36, of Franklin, pleaded not guilty at his Wrentham District Court arraignment Monday to possession with intent to distribute a Class A substance; possession with intent to distribute a Class D substance (marijuana) and possession to distribute a Class A substance (Suboxone). 
Freeman was indicted in Norfolk Superior Court on April 29 on different heroin and marijuana distribution charges, officials said, and a judge revoked his bail on that case and ordered him held without bail for 90 days. He will be arraigned June 3 in Superior Court.
Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News here

A group of Town Council members met privately with the police chief on Thursday to discuss what actions the department is taking in response to the state's opioid epidemic. 
The meeting followed the arrests last week of three men and two women who were allegedly part of a local heroin distribution organization. 
As a result of the meeting, the department added information on its website about opioid overdoses, including a YouTube video on risk factors and a state report on response strategies. 
Also, Franklin Police Chief Stephan Semerjian was asked to brief the council next Wednesday on further measures the department will pursue.
Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News here

A group of local businesses and artists holds a kick-off event tonight to raise money for a weeklong summer arts festival in the downtown. 
The fundraiser starts at 8 p.m. at the Franklin Performing Arts company's 200-seat theater, The Black Box, at 15 West Central St. Tickets are $18. 
Festival organizers will provide more details about the event, slated from July 29 to Aug. 2, and a jazz trio is set to perform.
Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News here

Franklin Cultural Festival - arts happen here!
Franklin Cultural Festival - arts happen here!

For more info on Franklin's first Cultural Festival check here

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

BIG Y: Learn About Prescription Drug Safety and Drug Interactions

Pharmacy Food and Family. April is Prescription Drug Safety and Drug Interaction Awareness. Join Us! Tuesday, April 21st 11am - 4pm.
© Copyright 2015 Big Y Foods Inc., Springfield, MA

This email was sent by:
Big Y Foods Inc., 2145 Roosevelt Avenue, PO Box 7840, Springfield, MA, 01102

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Prescription Drug Take-Back Day - Apr 26

Franklin will participate in the eighth Prescription Drug Take-Back Day held Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
It's a great time to clean out your medicine cabinet! Protect our kids, families and environment by properly disposing of your unwanted and expired medicines. Medicines in the home are a leading cause of accidental poisoning and flushed or trashed medicines can end up polluting our waters. Rates of prescription drug abuse are alarmingly high - over half of teens abusing medicines get them from a family member or friend, including the home medicine cabinet, and often without their knowledge.

Take Back Your Meds
Take Back Your Meds

The Franklin Police Station is one of the many sites participating in this effort.

Franklin Police Station (Mar 2014 in snow)
Franklin Police Station (Mar 2014 in snow)

For additional information on the "Take Back Your Meds" program, you can visit the webpage here

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Safe prescription drug disposal

If you have prescription drugs that you are no longer taking, why leave them in your cabinet?

What should you do to dispose of them properly?
Drop them in the trash? NoFlush them down the toilet or drain? No
Bring them to the safe disposal drop box at the Franklin Police Station.

911 Panther Way, Franklin, MA

The kiosk is located just inside the front door.

  1. Open the handle 
  2. deposit your prescription containers 
  3. close the handle

As easy as 1, 2, 3!


Coincidentally, the newspaper has this article today:

Drug drop-off day is April 27

Local police departments will once again join forces with the Drug Enforcement Administration to get rid of residents' unused prescription medicine when the sixth National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is held Saturday, April 27.

Note the DEA site does not list Franklin but the kiosk is at the Police Headquarters!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Discarded Drugs Destroyed

Hundreds of pounds of discarded drugs destroyed.

Click here for press release.

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Sunday, July 31, 2011

"The drug containers work like a mailbox"

Medway and 12 other Norfolk County towns are using the drug containers after Morrissey wrote the county police chiefs in May and asked them to participate in the program. 
Franklin and Wrentham also have the boxes, and about 300,000 people will have access to the containers across the county, Morrissey said. 
Franklin Police Chief Stephen Williams said a container has been at the station for about a month. 
"I think prescription drug abuse is endemic almost everywhere," Williams said. "We're seeing many of our young people become involved in it, and where are they getting the drugs from? From their mom and dad's prescriptions and friends."

Read more:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

In the News: there was a market for this

Franklin detectives saw the men exchange something with someone in a second car, police said, and then followed the second car and stopped a man who, by that time, had a baggie of what was later identified as cocaine in his mouth. 
The detectives then returned to the parking lot and saw a second exchange within an hour and a half involving the same green car, the police report said. 
Detectives interrupted that deal, which this time was heroin, and arrested Dejesus-Escbales and Delossantos, according to court documents. 
The two people who bought the drugs were not arrested and instead were summoned to court on possession charges, police said. 
Police found 13 small bags of heroin, one large bag of heroin, and a bag of cocaine in the Honda, along with $2,158 in cash. Officers also found five cellphones, which rang repeatedly during the arrests, according to court reports.

Read more:

Saturday, August 21, 2010

DEA: prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative

The Drug Enforcement Administration and government, community, public health and law enforcement partners today announced a nationwide prescription drug “Take-Back” initiative that seeks to prevent increased pill abuse and theft. DEA will be collecting potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs for destruction at sites nationwide o n Saturday, September 25 th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local time. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.
This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Many Americans are not aware that medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are increasing at alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.
For locations near you, check on the DEA website here. You can search by zip code and within a radius of that zip code. Currently there are not locations close to Franklin. However, the website claims additional locations will be added and to check back often.

The top page on the DEA website is here:

Franklin, MA

Sunday, June 14, 2009

"students who reported recently smoking marijuana rose"

Posted Jun 13, 2009 @ 10:46 PM

Amid the backdrop of the deaths this week of two teens linked to drinking, a report released today by a regional health foundation shows a drop in alcohol use among area high school students.

The biennial report, the MetroWest Adolescent Health Survey, uses responses from questionaires sent to middle and high schools in MetroWest and Greater Milford by the MetroWest Community Health Care Foundation. Introduced in 2006, the report now includes data from 2008, allowing the first look at possible trends.

Between the two surveys, the proportion of high school students who reported drinking within a month of the questionnaire dropped from 42 percent to 39 percent.

Those using alcohol at some point in their lives, meanwhile, fell from 67 percent to 63 percent. And those recently consuming five or more drinks in a row binge drinking fell from 25 percent to 23 percent.

Click through to the Milford Daily News web site to down load the full report.

While the numbers are down for alcohol, they are up for marijuana. Given the recent tragedies involving local youth and drinking, clearly much work remains.

For my two cents; how much have parents/guardians changed their own behavior? They are the ones who are setting the example for the children to grow up with.

One quote I like makes this point:

"Our example to our children, to our families, and to the world around us is constant. The question is not whether or not anyone is watching, the question is what are they learning as they watch." Kirk Weisler

You can sign up for Kirk Weisler's Thought for the Day (T4D) here.

Friday, June 6, 2008

"turn them on to doing something positive"

Posted Jun 06, 2008 @ 12:21 AM


Based on the results of the most recent youth risk survey for students in grades 7-12, the town has decided to reestablish the Community Health Council.

In its first meeting last night, a committee of school administrators, police officers and students discussed strategies for the upcoming year.

The survey asks students about drug and alcohol use, among other risky behaviors, and was last administered in fall 2006, with alcohol use being the most noticeable problem found.

In the past, the council had the mission to protect and provide programs for youth in Franklin.

"The major focus was on youth," said Mardi Donovan, health director for the schools. "But the council also focused on the community as a whole."

While the previous council acted as more of an advisory committee, the new version hopes to bring more action to the table.

Read the full story in the Milford Daily News here.

The MetroWest Survey was presented to the School Committee

Monday, January 7, 2008

Holliston tackles teenage substance abuse

Ellen Freedman, coordinator of Holliston's Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Initiative, says she is encouraged by parents' response to last month's presentation of a survey that showed they underestimate marijuana use and binge drinking among local teenagers.

Rather than responding with denial, she said, parents have said they want to work together to curb the behavior.

Freedman said they applied the survey results to their own situation. "I don't think there was quite as much denial as 'This information is going to help me talk to my kids.' "

The Boston Globe reports that Holliston is tackling the recent survey results on teenage substance abuse. Franklin's School Committee received a similar report recently. The School Department has not completely spread the information in this report. Please be aware that information sessions will be held via PCC and other channels in the near future. The police chief is also reported to come to the School Committee to provide the "town impact" side of the information.

Within Franklin, while "the budget, budget, budget" is very important, the reason the budget is important is that much of the money is used for educational purposes, like this!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

School Committee: Health Survey - part 2 (audio)

Michelle Kingston Smith, Director, Instructional Services and Martha
Donovan, K-12 Director Health/Physical Education answer questions from the School Committee after their presentation on 11/27/07.

Time: 28 minutes, 56 seconds

MP3 File

Franklin School Committee: Health Survey Presentation (audio)

Michelle Kingston Smith, Director, Instructional Services and Martha Donovan, K-12 Director Health/Physical Education make their presentation to the School Committee on 11/27/07.

Time: 40 minutes, 6 seconds

MP3 File

My notes to accompany this audio file can be found here.

The presentation can be found here.

Metro West/EDC Adolescent Health Survey - Part 1

At the School Committee meeting on November 27, 2007, Michelle Kingston Smith, Director, Instructional Services and Martha Donovan, K-12 Director Health/Physical Education presented the results for the Metro West/EDC Adolescent Health Survey.

The survey results are important to understand. This is where a good deal of focus on the education of our children should be. The issues raised by this survey can put an appropriate context around budget discussions.

The presentation was rather lengthy so I have split it up into three posts.

  1. The first (this one) has the intro and my own notes taken during the presentation.
  2. The second will have the audio file for the presentation itself.
  3. The third will have the audio file for the question and answer discussion following the presentation.
The School Department web site has links for the executive summary for the Middle School results (PDF) and the High School results (PDF). Both these links are working.

The link to the presentation itself can be found here.

My notes taken during the presentation on 11/27/07

Lifetime – tried it at least once in their lifetime

Trend in survey showing decline in reported usage of alcohol amongst middle school students
Alcohol most prevalent amongst high school, no difference between male/female,
10% admitted it interfered with their school work
48% high school admitted drinking within the last 30 days
This trend line was actually increasing over the study periods

Tobacco use, males more than females – middle school
Significant reduction in those admitting trying smoking (both MS and HS)
High school – 10% identified as daily smokers

Marijuana is a concern, there shows a reduction in MS
Steroids have dropped

HS – marijuana nearly as prevalent as tobacco for students as trying it
Students using marijuana using within 30 days, exceeds the smoker numbers

Biggest issue at HS bullying and fighting
Decrease from MS to HS, although increases from 2004, 2006 at HS
Electronic bullying increasing

Stress levels double from 9th to 12th grade, (i.e. college process)

Community involvement recommended to address these issues
15 components to be convened in the community involvement effort

Must celebrate trends going in the right direction
But we’re still taking about 10-20% of the population participating in risky behavior

Comparative analysis since 1999
How to provide the info to the parents, summary, call to action in some attractive but none-turning away manner

Introduction of Open Circle at kindergarten level helps
Middle school intervention programs
9th grade collaborative at the HS
Peer mentoring, peer leaders going through training now

Discussion on 1999, data, first year results seem not to be real
Chief Williams coming back to put this in perspective within the Town context

Avoid one shot assembly approach, programs work well when connected to curriculum
Have not looked at correlation with economy