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Addiction in Franklin County

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White House announces $1 billion for opioid crisis, in part dedicated to rural areas

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

GREENFIELD — Against the backdrop of a deepening opioid addiction crisis that claimed the lives of an estimated 1,173 Massachusetts residents in 2014, the White House announced Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s budget for 2017 will include $1.1 billion for fighting the epidemic. Notably, part of that funding is dedicated for rural areas like Franklin County, where rates of overdose and opioid addiction are typically higher. The budget takes “a two-pronged approach” to address the epidemic, according to a fact sheet on the White House’s website. It includes $1 billion in new mandatory funding over two years to expand access to treatment for prescription drug … 0

State: Opioid-related deaths continue to rise

Monday, January 25, 2016

GREENFIELD — Opioid-related overdose deaths were up statewide in the first nine months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, according to recent state statistics. The data, drawn from the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, paints a picture of a deepening opioid addiction crisis in Massachusetts, even as state … 0

RECOVER Project welcomes new director

Sunday, January 24, 2016

GREENFIELD — The RECOVER Project has hired a new director to help orchestrate the addiction peer-to-peer service based in Greenfield. The new director is Michael Lewis, who is no stranger to the RECOVER Project, which is located on Federal Street. Born and raised in western Mass, his early adult life took him across … 0

Coalition to target opioid overprescription

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

BOSTON — A new interagency task force headed up by the state Attorney General’s office will work to identify pharmacies, medical professionals and health-care providers who overprescribe opioid painkillers — a practice widely believed to be at the … 0

Opioid Task Force members react to House bill

Friday, January 15, 2016

GREENFIELD — A comprehensive bill to address various aspects of the state’s opioid abuse crisis headed to a conference committee after passing in the state House of Representatives this week. The bill, with the conference panel crafting a final version agreeable to both the House and Senate, focuses … 1

With substance abuse, prevention education has to start at early age

Friday, January 15, 2016

HADLEY — “You are the front lines in prevention. You can make a difference in kids’ lives.” That’s the charge Northwestern District Attorney David E. Sullivan gave to a packed room of school nurses, guidance councilors and other … 0

Opioid drug fraud lands mom, daughter on probation

Thursday, January 14, 2016

NORTHAMPTON — An Easthampton mother and daughter pleaded guilty Thursday in Hampshire Superior Court to more than 200 drug-related charges resulting from the daughter’s opioid addiction. Each woman was placed on probation. Theresa Coe, 49, was accused in … 0

House OKs bill to fight addiction

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

BOSTON — Massachusetts House lawmakers have approved a bill aimed at addressing the state’s alarming spike in opioid overdoses and deaths, while rejecting a proposal that would have allowed doctors to involuntarily commit those suffering from overdoses to drug treatment facilities for up to three days. The bill, … 0

Former nurse admits to stealing morphine at Baystate Franklin Medical Center

Friday, January 8, 2016

GREENFIELD — A former nurse at Baystate Franklin Medical Center has admitted in U.S. District Court to stealing morphine and another powerful painkiller, Dilaudid, and replacing them with saline solution over the course of at least three months in 2014. Court records show that Daniel Herlocker, 41, of … 0

Sheriff Donelan: Allow former drug offenders to drive

Friday, January 8, 2016

Franklin County Sheriff Christopher Donelan said he supports the Legislature’s repealing a law that suspended a drug offender’s driver’s license. He said the law merely takes away one of the tools that drug offenders have to get their … 1

Addiction year in review, deaths and gains

Friday, January 1, 2016

“What a painful, painful year, and I think we’re still grieving. It’s been a year unparalleled in the nature of addiction and the huge gap between what we need and what’s out there for people ... it’s an … 0

Charlemont man facing drug charges after traffic stop

Friday, January 1, 2016

GREENFIELD — A Charlemont man will face drug charges after police arrested him Friday afternoon during a traffic stop. Allen A. Smith, 31, of Charlemont, was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle after his license had been suspended or revoked and possession of a Class A … 0

Group grieves together for loved ones lost to overdoses

Thursday, December 31, 2015

GREENFIELD — Whichever you celebrate, the holidays are a time for family, but in Franklin County as elsewhere, more and more families are being hurt by addiction and related deaths. Karen Sims of Leyden lost a granddaughter, Ashley … 0

Vermont pair charged with heroin trafficking after Bernardston arrest

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

BERNARDSTON — Two Vermont residents face heroin charges after a traffic stop for defective license plate lights ended with the seizure of about 1,200 bags of heroin and an attempted escape through a police cruiser window. Both were arraigned Tuesday in Greenfield District Court and held in lieu … 0

Needle exchange backers question timeline

Thursday, December 10, 2015

GREENFIELD — Continuing its deliberation of the possibility of bringing a needle exchange to town, the Board of Health again heard from proponents this week as it continues to look for the other side of the coin — … 0