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Addiction in Franklin County

State Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash.

Top housing brass courted for addiction help

Monday, September 28, 2015

GREENFIELD — Members of the local Opioid Task Force and others interested in the intersection of the opioid epidemic and public housing took the opportunity to introduce the area’s gains and gaps as the state’s top housing official visited the area Monday. State Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash stopped at Greenfield Gardens on the tail end of an economic development-focused tour with area legislative representatives Susannah Whipps Lee and Paul Mark. The Greenfield Gardens visit was a last-minute addition to an itinerary beginning with stops in Athol and the vacant former Northfield Mount Hermon School campus in Northfield. April Noeun, Greenfield Gardens … 0

Family Court seeks drug court option

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

GREENFIELD — The local Family Court is pursuing a first-in-the-state option in the tug-of-war over drug-involved custody cases: a “drug court” incorporating treatment for addicted parents, education for the relative seeking custody of their children and counseling for children caught in the middle. Judge Beth Crawford, First Justice of the Franklin Probate and … 0

Drop-off crisis center seen as priority for fighting drug addiction

Monday, September 14, 2015

GREENFIELD — After two days of identifying gaps in the local mental health and addiction treatment system, local doctors, clinicians, police and social workers were near unanimous in ranking creation of a crisis drop-off center as a priority. Other priorities cited included diverting people from the criminal justice system before and after court arraignment and better data collection, the ammunition needed for getting … 1

‘We’re dying’: Police report 3 opioid overdose-related deaths in last 2 weeks

Monday, July 6, 2015

GREENFIELD — People are continuing to die of heroin, about as many in the last few weeks as in some previous years. “We’re dying,” said RECOVER Project Director Linda Sarage. The RECOVER Project, on Federal Street, is a peer-to-peer addiction recovery community. “Our safe places don’t feel safe. … 0

Studded tires lead to heroin arrests

Monday, June 29, 2015

GREENFIELD — Failing to switch out winter tires led to the arrest of two men on drug charges in Greenfield Friday night. Jesse Stebbins, 25, of 17 Avenue C, Turners Falls, was charged with possession of a Class … 0

‘I got my socks blown off’: Dr. Ruth Potee says gov.’s addiction plan much more than she had expected

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

GREENFIELD — Local physician and addiction specialist Dr. Ruth Potee said the governor’s new plan to combat heroin and opioid addiction was far more than she was expecting, in the details and in language acknowledging addiction as a disease. “I was expecting sort of a milquetoast paper that … 0

Gov. Baker gives $27M to battle opioid epidemic

Monday, June 22, 2015

The Baker administration on Monday released a $27 million plan to address the heroin and opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, a problem that killed at least one person locally over the weekend while another was turning blue Monday when … 0

Families of addicts ‘learn to cope’; Greenfield chapter starts Tuesday

Sunday, June 14, 2015

HOLYOKE — “My son came home today for the weekend and he’s sober,” one woman tells the group gathered in a conference room on the ground floor of the Providence Behavioral Health Hospital in Holyoke. Someone who knows … 0

Firebird 5k race against addiction needs runners

Sunday, June 14, 2015

GREENFIELD — About 150 people paid $20 to run 3.1 miles in last year’s inaugural Firebird 5k Race Against Addiction and that money took others a lot further in their own races against addiction, in which the starting … 0

Learn to Cope: New support group for families hit by addiction

Sunday, May 31, 2015

GREENFIELD — The stress, loneliness, judgment and other pressures that can come with a loved one’s addiction need an outlet, and Learn to Cope hopes to provide it in the Franklin County area with a support group offering ears and advice. “As you can imagine, people who are … 0

Knowledge over stigma: Franklin County Opioid Task Force focuses on changing perceptions of addiction

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

GREENFIELD — Why don’t people get help for addiction? Because they get treated like addicts. Tuesday’s meeting of the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin focused on changing minds by looking at how minds work, with Dr. Ruth Potee of Valley Medical Group laying … 0

Full Opioid Task Force meeting Tuesday

Friday, May 22, 2015

GREENFIELD — The Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region will hold a full-group meeting Tuesday. Dr. Ruth Potee will speak on the physiology of addiction. Potee, of Valley Medical Group, treats addiction in … 0

Sen. Markey proposes prescription education bill, pushes prescription monitoring and drug take-backs

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A federal law targeting over-prescription of painkillers to help stem the addiction crisis has been proposed by U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey. The bill was introduced on Wednesday, and Markey has begun calling on federal agencies dealing with high-risk groups to participate in state prescription monitoring programs. According … 0

Fighting addiction before it starts

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Franklin Regional Council of Governments was among 26 municipalities and institutions awarded $2.9 million in grants through the Department of Public Health Monday, money the administration said is intended to combat opioid abuse before it starts. Locally, it means continued life for the Communities that Care Coalition’s … 0

Athol bust nets heroin, cocaine and three suspects

Monday, May 11, 2015

ATHOL — Two local men face drug charges after drug busts netted heroin, cocaine and cash, and a third will be brought to court at a later date. Eric Legarge, 29, of 891 Pleasant St., pleaded innocent Friday in Orange District Court to possession of heroin with intent … 0