Showing posts with label opioid. Show all posts
Showing posts with label opioid. Show all posts

Sunday, September 19, 2021

"Opioid epidemic grinds on in Mass. at elevated rates"

"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"
"Opioid epidemic grinds on in Mass. at elevated rates"


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

In the News: Senate Ways and Means endorsed opioid legislation

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"A powerful Senate committee on Tuesday endorsed legislation giving those addicted to opioids new access to medically assisted treatment in prisons and creating harm-reduction sites for people to use drugs while advancing several other ideas to curb the deadly scourge. 
The Senate Ways and Means Committee version of the bill in many ways follows the broad contours of legislation (H 4742) that the House passed unanimously last week. The bill would shift pharmacies over to electronic prescriptions, establish a standing order to make overdose-reversing medication available to well-meaning members of the public, and allow patients to fill part of a prescription and then go back to get the rest. 
A Ways and Means poll on the bill closed early afternoon on Tuesday, and the bill was reported favorably, according to an aide."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/20180717/safe-injection-site-pilot-included-in-senate-opioid-bill

The bill likely would move to conference committee to resolve the differences with the House on a similar measure.

Friday, October 16, 2015

“It's a very sad and tragic set of circumstances”


Four residents overdosed on heroin last week, two of whom died as a result, police said. They fell victim to the opiate epidemic pervading the state and, in recent years, taking lives at skyrocketing rates. 
“It's a very sad and tragic set of circumstances,” said Police Chief Stephan Semerjian. “When you have individuals that suffer years of this battle, it almost becomes a numbers game – how long can you tolerate and live that way before tragedy sets in.” 
Medical confidentiality laws prevent officials from releasing any specific information on the victims or circumstances of the overdose, he said.
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)
http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20151015/NEWS/151017193/1994/NEWS


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

"Fatal drug overdoses claimed more than a thousand lives in Massachusetts last year"


“The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program helps federal, state, and local authorities to coordinate drug enforcement operations, support prevention efforts and improve public health and safety,” said Botticelli, who served as director of Massachusetts substance abuse services from 2003 to 2012 where he oversaw a pilot program for Quincy police to begin carrying naloxone to treat opioid overdoses. 
The New England HIDTA also will receive $265,000 to advance a range of drug use prevention initiatives and to support HIDTA operations. 
“This federal funding comes at a critical time in Massachusetts and New England’s effort to tame this scourge of heroin and prescription drug abuse," said Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass. "Heroin overdoses are taking lives at an unprecedented rate. Stemming this tide will require a comprehensive strategy that teams public health, science, medicine, and law enforcement on the federal, state and local levels to stop addiction before it takes hold and secure treatment when and where its needed most."
Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News (subscription maybe required)  http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20150817/NEWS/150817153/1994/NEWS


Thursday, August 13, 2015

"it takes, on average, eight years to remission"

For an American society that wants a quick fix, there are multiple problems with the opioid epidemic.

A Harvard professor and Massachusetts General Hospital addiction expert spoke Wednesday night about the mechanisms of, and strategies for, combating and de-stigmatizing substance abuse disorders. 
John Kelly, a professor of psychiatry and the director of the hospital's Addiction Recovery Management Service, spoke to the second meeting of the Support for Addicts and Families by Empowerment, or SAFE, at Franklin High School.
Kelly said addiction was caused by several factors, including genetic predisposition and exposure to the drug itself.
 
"Some ask why people get addicted - the real question is: why we aren't all addicted," he said. "This relates to the genetic component."
Continue reading the article in the MIlford Daily News here (subscription may be required)
http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20150812/NEWS/150818375/1994/NEWS


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.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Franklin Community Coalition Event on Wednesday, Aug 12



The next meeting of the coalition is Wednesday, August 12 at 7 p.m. at Franklin High School, featuring Dr. 
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S.A.F.E. Coalition meeting on Wednesday


On Wednesday, August 12 at 7 p.m., Dr. John F. Kelly, the director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service at Mass General Hospital, will be the featured speaker at our coalition meeting.

His talk will be followed by a panel discussion and questions from the audience. In addition to Dr, Kelly, the panelists include:
Click here to view the flyer and Facebook page for this event. Please pass it along and let your friends and family know about this important event. We certainly hope you are able to join us for an informative and robust discussion.

Thank you for your continued commitment to this effort and I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, August 12 for our next meeting.

Sept 12 Opiate Addiction Awareness Walk in Milford

Join the first annual Missin' Matt Walk and walk for a couple of miles, listen, learn and be a part of the solution.

This walk is in remembrance of Matthew A. Bertulli, who died on November 3rd, 2012 at the age of 27. His young life was abruptly ended by a heroin overdose. "We walk for Matt, we walk to bring education, we walk to help stop the judgment, we walk to give hope and we walk to help.  Our goal is to make a difference in our community." - Kattie Truit, Matt's mom

The walk is on Saturday, September 12, 2015 at Milford Town Park. For more information and registration, click here.  

Missin Matt meetings on Wednesdays in Milford

Starting in September, the Missin Matt foundation will host a family support group meeting every Wednesday night in the Milford Hospital. The program will feature a 12 step Big Book workshop for those suffering from addiction.

Look for further details in an upcoming coalition newsletter.
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Healing Hearts meets on Thursday

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.

The group will also provide mobile support (in home) for parents and family members who need help but don't want a meeting. And the network will provide opportunities for people to call someone in crisis.

For the group's Facebook page, click here. more information, contact Jennifer Knight by clicking here.

HOPE meets on Monday

Community of HOPE (Healing ourselves, preserving each other) has begun meeting 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.

HOPE's mission is a peer led support network for families dealing with addiction and recovery. It is striving to become an official Learn to Cope chapter. Until then, it will adopt the Learn to Cope meeting format and bring resources to the table for families in crisis.

The group will also provide mobile support (in home) for parents and family members who need help but don't want a meeting. And the network will provide opportunities for people to call someone in crisis.

The group will meet weekly. At the meeting on Monday, the discussion will begin with comments from Brooke and Ally, two recovering addicts who will share their stories in an effort to help others.

Click here to join HOPE's Facebook page. For more information, contact Jim Derick by clicking here
Copyright © 2015 Jeffrey.Roy@MAHouse.gov, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you expressed an interest in joining the fight against obioid abuse in our community.

Our mailing address is:
Jeffrey.Roy@MAHouse.gov
State House - Room 527A
Boston, MA 02133

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In the News: Medway considering joining SAFE, Solar Challenge coming to an end



The Board of Health, which currently has a member belonging to SAFE Community Coalition, hopes to solicit community members to join the coalition, which seeks to solve the statewide heroin epidemic. 
At Monday’s meeting, Board of Health member Jordan Warnick said Rep. Jeff Roy, D-Franklin, asked him to be on the Support for Addicts and Families by Empowerment (SAFE) Community Coalition to “help bring Medway into it.” 
“We’re trying to forge a relationship with Franklin,” Warnick said. “Alone, we can’t do it.”
Continue reading about Eco Embrace here (subscription may be required)
http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20150810/NEWS/150819440/1994/NEWS

Local officials are encouraging town residents to participate in the Franklin Solar Challenge before the program's Sept. 15 deadline. 
Town Councilor Brett Feldman, who coordinates the challenge, said it was based on the state Clean Energy Center's Solarize Massachusetts program, which offers increasing discounts on solar panels as more and more townspeople use them. 
"It's based off that, but we did our own to maintain flexibility," he said, noting that such flexibility allowed the town to run its program over a longer time frame. "It started a year ago, and it will end in September."
Franklin Solar Challenge
Franklin Solar Challenge

Continue reading about Eco Embrace here (subscription may be required)
http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20150811/NEWS/150819510/1994/NEWS

Monday, August 10, 2015

Franklin TV - It Takes A Village - D. Getchell

You can set your alarm to watch this or set up your VCR/DVR to record and watch this interview.

.........


Steve,

Hoping you might call attention on FM to a cable tv  interview with Derek Getchell from Franklin.  He is a recovering addict, eloquent, charming and humble and  is committed to sharing his story of addiction and his struggle for recovery.  He does not preach, lecture or scold..but understands the agony and has found a way that works for him and may work for others.

He especially would be most grateful if you promote his story - will be aired this coming week on cable tv:  

  • Tuesday morning at 9:00 a.m
  • Wednesday morning at 8:30 am
  • Saturday evening at 8:30 pm

Franklin TV will broadcast this on Comcast Channel 8;  Verizon Channel 26



   Thanks Steve -

              Anne Bergen

Franklin TV
Franklin TV
   
09:00 AM It Takes A Village: D. Getchell

Thursday, August 6, 2015

In the News: Children Center Open House, state funding restored


Dean College Children’s Center, 144 School St., will host an open house from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 4. 
Parents of children 2-6 years old are invited to bring their child to explore and learn about the school. 
Applications will be accepted for five-day morning, two-day morning and three-day morning preschool programs, and the four-day Pre-K program. Preschool begins on Sept. 14.
Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News (subscription maybe required)
http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20150805/NEWS/150808259/1994/NEWS


State Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, chairwoman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, said restoring the cuts was driven by a desire to help the state's municipalities. 
"In working closely with local officials, I hear, almost on a daily basis, about town needs," she said. 
One key override, Spilka said, would provide $50,000 for the town's new substance abuse coalition. 
"Substance abuse, particularly opioid abuse, is rampant in the state," she said. "I thought it was important."
Continue reading the article in the Milford Daily News (subscription maybe required)
http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20150805/NEWS/150808212/1994/NEWS

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Addressing an Epidemic: Addiction, Stigma, and Recovery - August 12


Sponsored by S.A.F.E. (Support for Addicts and Families by Empowerment), the Community Coalition recently formed in Franklin, this event will feature a talk by Dr. John Kelly, the director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service at Mass General Hospital. 

It will be followed by a panel discussion and questions from the audience.


Addressing an Epidemic: Addiction, Stigma, and Recovery - August 12
Addressing an Epidemic: Addiction, Stigma, and Recovery - August 12



Wednesday, August 12 at 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Franklin High School Auditorium, 218 Oak St


You can follow the event on Facebook here
https://www.facebook.com/events/466145200232846/

"Drug Addiction: What parents need to know"

Patricia Byrne is the creator of the blog Heroin. Stop the Silence. Speak the Truth. She has three children including her son, age 29, who is a recovering
Patricia Byrne
Patricia Byrne
heroin addict. 

We have already shared a couple of her writings here. She has written a new post "Drug Addiction: What parents need to know" on another site called "Grown and Flown"

It will be a site you'll want to check out and consider subscribing to. A small window will pop up while you read the article asking you to consider subscribing to receive email updates.

drug paraphernalia
drug paraphernalia 
"When my oldest was about a week old I remember looking down into his beautiful eyes and being struck by an overwhelming sense of fear. Icy terror washed over me as I realized the full weight of my responsibility for this tiny human. How was I going to do this right? What was I going to do wrong? I knew I’d do something wrong, would it scar him for life? I was the one who would have to teach him to navigate a world I was not sure I fully understood myself. 
We are parents. We have all had this moment, and the fear stays with us……forever. These tiny beings may grow taller than us, they may move across the country and have tiny beings of their own someday – but they will always remain our innocent, irreplaceable miracles, and we will always be their parents."

Continue reading Patricia's article here
http://grownandflown.com/drug-addiction-what-parents-need-to-know/ 


Friday, July 31, 2015

In the News: S.A.F.E. coalition meeting, helmet saves boy



The Support for Addicts and Families by Empowerment or S.A.F.E coalition will meet at 7 p.m., Aug. 12 at Franklin High School. More than 100 people attended the group’s first meeting, which saw doctors, law enforcement officials and treatment counselors discuss the state’s opioid epidemic. 
The coalition will serve as a local resource for residents searching for information or help - for themselves, family members and friends - as it follows the lead of the 20 other town groups working closely with the Norfolk County District Attorney’s office. 
The second meeting will feature Dr. John Kelly, the director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service at Mass General Hospital in Boston. Kelly, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is expected to cover the genetics of addiction and the need to frame the dialogue on the opioid epidemic as a public health crisis rather than a drug problem.

Continue reading the article here
http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20150730/NEWS/150739295/1994/NEWS



A 3-year-old Franklin boy was taken to a hospital via medical helicopter after a vehicle struck the ride-a-long trailer attached to his father’s bicycle Thursday morning. 
According to police, several frantic callers reported the accident at 6:53 a.m., which occurred at the intersection of Sanford and Village streets. 
The child was taken to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester and was in stable condition Thursday afternoon. 
The boy was riding in a trailer attached to the bike of his 33-year-old father’s bicycle, which was traveling north on Sanford Street in the center of the roadway when it was “waiting to make a left hand turn onto Village Street," police said in a press release.

Continue reading the article here
http://www.milforddailynews.com/article/20150730/NEWS/150739360/1994/NEWS

Monday, July 27, 2015

Franklin Community Coalition on Opioid Abuse Update



The next meeting of the coalition is Wednesday, August 12 at 7 p.m. at Franklin High School
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Coalition work continues


Since our first meeting, a lot has happened. Two support groups have begun meetings in Franklin (see more information below), our board of incorporators has been crafting our next steps, and we are starting the process of developing a web and social media presence. For our next meeting (Wednesday, August 12 at 7 p.m.), Dr. John F. Kelly, the director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service at Mass General Hospital, will be the featured speaker.

The two support groups consist of Franklin HOPE (Healing Ourselves, Preserving Each other) which meets on Monday evenings and Healing Hearts which meets on Thursdays. The groups offer support for families struggling with addiction and recovery. Both preserve anonymity and create a safe place" for people and families in crisis.

In the meantime, we have adopted S.A.F.E. (Support for Addicts and Families by Empowerment) as our coalition name. It speaks well to the work we are doing.

On the organizational front, we have begun discussing a leadership structure and seeking volunteers to serve as officers in the coalition. In addition, we have formed subcommittees to formulate a community survey, to address our web and social media needs, and to attend meetings (including the DA coalition, the regional CHNA, and Learn to Cope). There has been a great outpouring of support for our efforts.

We are trying to line up speakers for future events, so if you have ideas or suggestions, please pass them along.

Thank you for your continued commitment to this effort and I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday, August 12 for our next meeting.

addressing an epidemic

Next Coalition Meeting on August 12 at 7 pm

On Wednesday, August 12, S.A.F.E. will feature a talk by Dr. John Kelly, the director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service at Mass General Hospital. His talk will be followed by a panel discussions and questions from the audience.

Please let your friends and family know about this important event and be sure to join us for an informative and robust discussion.

Click here to view the flyer and Facebook page for this event.

Franklin HOPE meets on Monday

Franklin HOPE (Healing ourselves, preserving each other) has begun meeting 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.

HOPE's mission is a peer led support network for families dealing with addiction and recovery. It is striving to become an official Learn to Cope chapter. Until then, it will adopt the Learn to Cope meeting format and bring resources to the table for families in crisis.

The group will also provide mobile support (in home) for parents and family members who need help but don't want a meeting. And the network will provide opportunities for people to call someone in crisis.

The group will meet weekly. At the meeting on Monday, the discussion will begin with comments from Brooke and Ally, two recovering addicts who will share their stories in an effort to help others.

For more information, contact Jim Derick by clicking here
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STOP Addiction in its tracks
STOP addiction in its tracks

Closer to Home than You Think: A Personal Look Inside The Opiate Epidemic

On Wednesday, July 29, the Milford Library is hosting an opiate awareness program featuring Amy Leone, MA, MS, LMHC of Community Impact, Inc. and the Juvenile Advocacy Group (JAG); Mike Rodrigues, Founder of the EVAN Fund; Katie Triutt and Meghan Triutt Giacomuzzi of the Missin' Matt Walk.

The Rodrigues family lost Evan Rodrigues, age 19 in 2014 to a heroin overdose. The EVAN Fund honors his life and aims to help other youth and their families be educated about this widespread problem.The Truitt family lost Matt Bertulli, Katie's son and Meghan's brother in 2012, also due to a heroin overdose. They are planning a memorial walk in September, the Missin' Matt Walk to fundraise for families on the road to recovery.

Amy Leone is part of the S.A.F.E. coalition and works closely with adolescents and their families to address and cope with addiction, treatment, and recovery. She will also speak about Learn to Cope, a growing  peer-led support network that provides hope and community to families. Milford and Franklin do not currently have chapters.

Following the short presentations, there will be time to ask questions and connect.Sponsored by The Milford Regional Medical Center, The Milford Town Library, Community Impact,Inc, and JAG, this event is free and open to the public. We urge you to attend this important forum.

healing heartsHealing Hearts meet on Thursday

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. 

The group will also provide mobile support (in home) for parents and family members who need help but don't want a meeting. And the network will provide opportunities for people to call someone in crisis. 

For more information, contact Jennifer Knight by clicking here.
Copyright © 2015 Jeffrey.Roy@MAHouse.gov, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you expressed an interest in joining the fight against opioid abuse in our community.

Our mailing address is:
Jeffrey.Roy@MAHouse.gov
State House - Room 527A
Boston, MA 02133

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

"addiction is not what we think it is" (video)

In this TED Talk, Johann Hari spends 15 minutes getting to the heart of addiction. He says we are approaching the problem wrong.

"And what I've tried to do now, and I can't tell you I do it consistently and I can't tell you it's easy, is to say to the addicts in my life that I want to deepen the connection with them, to say to them, I love you whether you're using or you're not. I love you, whatever state you're in, and if you need me, I'll come and sit with you because I love you and I don't want you to be alone or to feel alone. 
And I think the core of that message -- you're not alone, we love you -- has to be at every level of how we respond to addicts, socially, politically and individually. For 100 years now, we've been singing war songs about addicts. I think all along we should have been singing love songs to them, because the opposite of addiction is not sobriety. The opposite of addiction is connection."

Watch and see how Johann got to this point:



Saturday, July 11, 2015

"I raised an addict - what could I have done differently?"

Patricia Byrne writes:
It has been a very interesting month. I have connected with old high school friends who have active or recovering addicts in their families. I have been contacted by people who are living the nightmare of Addiction as parents, spouses, children and friends of addicts as well as addicts themselves. Many have shared powerful stories of recovery. I have written or spoken the words ‘I am sorry for your loss’ too many times to count, though we really do need to keep counting… Every person we lose leaves a gaping hole in the world. That hole will swallow us all if the tide is not turned. 
I did not intend to start a blog, and I am a bit unsure of where to take it from here. I am, after all, just the Mom of an addict who posted a bit of a hissy fit to her Facebook. I don’t think I can keep tossing out hissy fits, it would get old pretty quickly. I have decided that I will post when something is swirling around in my head enough to make me sit down and write about it, since that’s what happened the first time. It may be a few things in a short amount of time, followed by a lull. We’ll just have to see where this blog leads me. 
This is a new journey and I’m glad for the company of all who would like to walk this path with me. We have certainly walked it alone for far too long. 
Today’s thought: What could I have done differently?
image from Heroin. Stop the Silence. Speak the Truth.
image from Heroin. Stop the Silence. Speak the Truth.

Continue reading her thoughtful post "I raised an addict -what could I have done differently?" 
https://stopthesilencespeakthetruth.wordpress.com/2015/07/10/i-raised-an-addict-what-could-i-have-done-differently/

#opioidFranklin

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Franklin Community Coalition on Opioid Abuse (Video)

The video recording from the June 30th meeting to start the Community Coalition addressing opioid epidemic is now available for viewing.





My notes from the meeting can be found here
http://www.franklinmatters.org/2015/07/live-reporting-community-coalition-june.html

The next meeting is scheduled for August 12 location remains to be determined

Franklin Community Coalition on Opioid Abuse Update



The next meeting of the coalition is Tuesday, August 12 at 7 p.m. at a location TBD. For now, please save the date.
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First meeting starts conversation


Last Tuesday night's meeting was a great start to a community conversation on opioid abuse. Over 200 people joined in the conversation. Click here to view the newspaper report about the evening.

We are planning our next coalition meeting for Tuesday, August 12 at a location to be determined. Please save the date and we will let you know as soon as the details are finalized. In the meantime, we will be working on an organizational structure for the coalition, our website and social media resources, establishing a support group in Franklin, and developing other community resources. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please pass them along by replying to this email.

Today we are in the midst of a health crisis in the fight against heroin and opiate addiction. It's taking the lives of our community members. Earlier this month, TIME magazine noted that powerful painkillers are creating the worst addiction crisis America has ever seen.

Massachusetts' opioid addiction problem was declared a public health emergency more than a year ago. Since then it has gotten worse. The state saw more than 1,000 opioid-related deaths in 2014 – three times as many as in 2000. We've seen the devastation of addiction right here in our backyards and neighborhoods.

Last week the Governor's Opioid Task Force released its report and recommendations. It identifies addiction as a public health challenge, not a law enforcement issue. It recognizes Substance Use Disorder as a chronic medical condition, calling on the medical community to treat it as such. And it calls on everyone to reduce the stigma that prevents those suffering from Substance Use Disorder from getting the help they need.

A continued open and frank discussion is what we need to generate new ideas and new approaches. This crisis is not going to be solved in a day with one meeting. We started this coalition because we know that the cost of turning our backs on this problem is simply too high. And a community that can have this type of conversation is a strong one. I'm happy to see that this conversation has begun and humbled to see that so many people showed up to join in.

I'm glad we got together last Tuesday, but the conversation must continue. We have legislators, law enforcement personnel (including our district attorney), firefighters, local officials, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, school officials, counselors, family members, friends and neighbors – all committed to eradicating harmful opiates and saving lives.

Thank you for your commitment to this effort and I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, August 12 for our next meeting.

Do you have an idea for a coalition name? So far we have received the following:
  • Franklin SAFE (Support for Addicts and Families by Empowerment)
  • Healing Hearts
  • Franklin Against Drugs
  • Franklin Against Opioids
Please continue to pass along any ideas or suggestions.
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Vowing to change the way the Commonwealth treats and even thinks about substance addiction, Governor Charlie Baker released the findings of his Opioid Working Group, a comprehensive report detailing 65 actionable steps to curb the deadly opioid epidemic. You can view the report by clicking here.

The findings by the 18-member Working Group include short and long term action items to be implemented between now and the next three years, some requiring legislative action and funding and some will be achieved through partnerships with private industry and federal leaders.

The announcement comes just days after the launch of a statewide public service campaign to alert parents about the dangers of prescription opioid misuse by their kids. You can link to the campaign by clicking here.
Did you know?
By 2009, drug overdose deaths outnumbered deaths due to motor vehicle crashes for the first time in the U.S. Prescription drugs, especially opioid analgesics, have been increasingly involved in drug overdose deaths. Click here and here for more details.
Karen Courtemanche shared this great information for the coalition:

I wanted to take a minute to thank everyone that spoke at our first of many meetings of the Opioid Abuse Coalition. We have a great team of resources that seems to keep growing. I feel very committed to this coalition and I also feel that our voices were heard last Tuesday night loud and clear. We have a long road ahead of us but we are off to a great start.

Here is a great group to join on Facebook for support TAM Massachusetts State Chapter ~ "The Addicts Mom". It's resourceful and comforting!

Naloxone (Narcan) is available at any pharmacy; you don't need a prescription any more (I personally went to CVS in Franklin and purchased one and had no problem). Get the Nasal one it is covered under insurance, if you don't have insurance it's only $20.00. Here is a video to show you how to use it and when:


Emergency Rooms...if you have a loved one, and you feel they are not safe, that they may go out and use that one more time (which we all know~ that isn't good) bring them to the emergency room (again I have done this many many times) The ER will assess and keep them. Be persistent!

Reinhard Straub, LICSW, LCDCS was one of the speakers I asked to come Tuesday night. He's a recovering addict himself that has turned his life around in order to help people like us. He told me to give his number to you. He is happy to help in anyway he can and can be reached by phone at 401-949-2220 and fax at 401-949-2262. He has 5 - 6 people that he works closely with to find the right treatments and help. Currently, they are putting together packets for us; as soon as I get them I'll post them. Meanwhile please feel free to contact Reinhard, he is a GREAT resource. He helped me immensely.

If you need help reach out! We will make changes for the good, we need to stick together and stay strong.
a quote that I thought very appropriate from Derek Getchell...."I CAN'T WE CAN"..... it takes a village.
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