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The Opioid Crisis in Massachusetts – A Community Solution

Opioid Crisis in Massachusetts

 

Last night, I had the opportunity to attend “The Opioid Crisis: Identifying Community Solutions in Arlington.”  Hosted by the Arlington Youth Health & Safety Coalition, this community forum
was a panel discussion including:

 

  • Fred Ryan, Arlington Police Chief
  • Maura Healey, Massachusetts DA
  • Marian Ryan, Middlesex DA
  • Rebecca Wolfe, Arlington PD Clinical Responder
  • Mike Duggan, Founder of Wicked Sober
  • Dr. Alex Walley, Massachusetts DPH’s Opioid Overdose Prevention Pilot Program director

 

The opioid crisis in Massachusetts has been well documented in the news, but it takes on an even more compelling dimension when you hear directly from voices in the community about how addiction has destroyed people and their families.  Here are some eye opening facts:

  • Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drugs among 12 – 13 year olds
  • 54% of people get prescription drugs from a friend or relative
  • 4 out of 5 heroin users began first with recreation use of Rx pain relievers
  • More than 1,000 people died in Massachusetts last year from opioid-related overdoses

I was encouraged by the community efforts in Arlington to approach the opioid crisis not from a law enforcement perspective, but rather a public health problem that requires a multi-dimensional solution.

 

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