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Addiction in Franklin County

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 to Markey’s office, the Safer Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act would require prescribers of opioid pain medications and other controlled substances to … 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 efforts. Rachel Stoler, the Council of Government’s Partnership for Youth co-coordinator, said the Partnership has … 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 to distribute, simple possession of heroin and conspiracy to violate drug laws. Randy Shaw, 26, … 0

More families turn to Section 35 — involuntary committal — to help their drug-addicted loved ones

Thursday, March 19, 2015

GREENFIELD — The local Opioid Task Force and the Massachusetts Trial Court are pushing drug treatment through the innocuously named Section 35, shorthand well-known by many but completely foreign to others for the statute allowing families to ask the court to commit unwilling loved ones to up to … 0

State opioid group, local voices talk solutions

Thursday, March 19, 2015

GREENFIELD — State Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders and other members of the governor’s Opioid Crisis Working Group heard three hours of testimony Thursday on the western Massachusetts stop of their listening tour. By the end … 0

Gov.’s opioid group coming to town

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

GREENFIELD — The state Opioid Crisis Working Group will hold a public meeting today at Greenfield Community College, the second of four stops on a listening tour to hear from the public regarding the opioid addiction epidemic. The meeting is to be held in the GCC cafeteria, in … 0

A community of collaboration: Opioid Task Force an example of how region comes together

Monday, March 16, 2015

For Marisa Hebble, every workday might seem like “Mission Impossible,” in which pushing back Franklin County’s seemingly overwhelming opioid addiction problem could seem absolutely surreal. Just hearing Hebble, who’s been on the job for nearly a year as … 0

Sen. Markey helps reintroduce federal shield law to protect good Samaritan Narcan users

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey, with a fellow democratic senator and a republican colleague, has reintroduced a proposed federal shield law expanding and clarifying the legal protections for good Samaritans, police and firefighters administering the opioid overdose antidote Narcan. Markey first introduced the Opioid Overdose Reduction Act last spring. … 0

Regional overdose deaths in February

Thursday, March 12, 2015

At least four people died of overdoses last month in Franklin County and Athol. In the 27 towns, 17 people overdosed on various substances ranging from acetaminophen to heroin and four of them did not survive. Eight of the 17 lived and the remainder were not recorded. These … 0

Baker’s task force to visit

Thursday, March 5, 2015

GREENFIELD — Franklin County will be the second stop of four statewide as Gov. Charlie Baker’s new heroin task force begins a listening tour to gather ideas on how best to halt the addiction epidemic. Meeting since Feb. 24, the state Opioid Crisis Working Group will hold a … 0

Greenfield Youth Football League embezzler: The drugs made me do it

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

GREENFIELD — A local woman who stole $5,986 from the Greenfield Youth Football League to feed her drug habit has been ordered to repay the money. Margary Fisher, 38, of 36 Elm St., admitted to sufficient facts for conviction on a charge of larceny over $250 by a … 0

Greenfield man, girlfriend arrested in heroin bust

Thursday, February 26, 2015

GREENFIELD — A local couple faces heroin charges after a raid of an apartment turned up almost 300 bags of heroin, according to police. Joseph Ewig, 22, of 207 Chapman St., apartment 2, pleaded innocent in Greenfield District … 0

Police: N.Y. man arrested for dealing painkillers

Friday, February 20, 2015

GREENFIELD — Police confiscated nearly 400 pain pills and arrested a New York man on drug dealing charges. George Flores, 35, of New York City, pleaded innocent in Greenfield District Court Friday to a single charge of possession of a Class B drug with intent to distribute. He … 0

Franklin County opioid use numbers posted on state website

Thursday, February 19, 2015

In 2013, Franklin County residents filled prescriptions for 2,877,031 doses of highly abusable schedule two opioids, a classification including oxycodone, the principal ingredient in the tradename compounds Percocet and OxyContin. This and other numbers gathered by the state prescription monitoring program and released Wednesday by the Baker administration … 0

Baker tackles opioid addiction

Thursday, February 19, 2015

BOSTON — Pointing to new statistics showing that opioid overdoses claimed more than twice as many lives in 2013 as motor vehicle accidents, Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday released a trove of new prescription data as he put … 0