Addiction in Franklin County

Recorder/Paul Franz
A packet of heroin emptied out on a latex glove at Greenfield Police Department.  Each bag costs around seven to ten dollars.

Mass. bill would let addicts turn in drugs without fear of prosecution

Monday, February 8, 2016

BOSTON — Special kiosks set up at some police stations collect unwanted and unused prescription medication, and some departments accept unwanted guns and ammunition on dedicated takeback days. Massachusetts police departments could next become a point for addicts seeking recovery to turn in unwanted heroin and other drugs, without the threat of prosecution, under legislation recently filed by Rep. Ann-Margaret … 0

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 … 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

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

Drug abuse expert to talk at UMass on Dec. 7

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

AMHERST — Dr. Steven Kassels, an author and board-certified physician in addiction and emergency medicine, will give a talk, “The Heroin Epidemic in America, Why Now?” on Monday. The talk is to begin at 7 p.m. in the Integrative Learning Center, N151, at the University of Massachusetts. Sponsored … 0

Baystate Franklin Medical Center seeks to intercept addicts, steer them to treatment; some say they’re falling short

Monday, November 23, 2015

Doctors and the public now widely recognize addiction as a disease, but has the medical institution caught up? “Frankly, I don’t ever consider the hospitals as a resource for help for me, or any of the people that … 0

Overdoses in Greenfield up over weekend

Monday, November 23, 2015

GREENFIELD — The last few days have seen a number of heroin overdoses in Greenfield, at least two known to police since Friday. A man overdosed Sunday night and another Friday morning. Police logs suggest both were alive when they were taken from the scene. Reports of a … 0

A look at how some regional hospitals are responding to the opioid epidemic

Monday, November 23, 2015

Outside of Greenfield, Athol Hospital in the North Quabbin region is contending with the same problems of intercepting addicts and steering them to help. And in Boston, Mass. General Hospital is seen by some as a model for providing this service. North Quabbin In the North Quabbin, Athol … 0

Needle exchange program talk underway

Sunday, November 22, 2015

GREENFIELD — Following up on the discussion begun last month about starting a needle exchange program in Greenfield, the Board of Health plans a meeting with the state official in charge of approving such programs. The board is also looking for opponents of the idea for the other … 0

Locals react to 3-day addiction committal idea in Gov. Baker's bill

Thursday, November 19, 2015

GREENFIELD — A provision of the major opioid addiction bill now before the Legislature is getting a critical look locally from health care professionals who say it won’t work in the current treatment landscape, and others who say … 1

Area hospitals report spike in heroin ODs

Monday, November 16, 2015

SPRINGFIELD — A medical expert at Baystate Medical Center said Monday that a purer form of heroin circulating in the region is likely behind dozens of suspected heroin overdoses in recent days. Dr. Niels K. Rathlev, chairman of … 0

Mass. sheriffs back governor’s opioid bill

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

BOSTON — More than half of the state’s sheriffs on Monday threw their support behind Gov. Charlie Baker’s substance abuse prevention legislation, saying that what they see at their correctional facilities proves the state’s ongoing opioid epidemic is an issue that “desperately needs attention.” “We are not doing … 0

Multi-state forum looks at opioid abuse, overdose rates

Monday, November 9, 2015

BOSTON — Across New England, efforts to tackle opioid abuse and curb rising overdose rates involve a focus on working with doctors on both how the drugs are prescribed and how addiction is treated, political and public health leaders from four states said Monday. The week before Massachusetts … 0

Dozens take a stand against drug addiction in awareness march Saturday

Saturday, October 17, 2015

GREENFIELD — “This isn’t like cancer. You can’t just raise money to try and find a cure,” said Colchester, Vt., resident Ellen Desjardin, who lost her 31-year-old son from a heroin overdose about 18 months ago. On Saturday, … 0

Opiate Awareness Walk Saturday

Monday, October 12, 2015

GREENFIELD — Amanda Zellmannn said her older brother told her not to quit in high school. She did quit — every sport she tried and ultimately school, but now she is organizing a march to show her brother … 0