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

86 drug treatment beds coming to North Quabbin in Petersham

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

PETERSHAM — Athol Hospital’s parent company has bought land in Petersham and plans to open a 86-bed addiction and mental health treatment facility there as early as this summer. The number and type of treatment slots would be a significant addition to the treatment landscape near Franklin County, … 0

Addiction recovery advocates rally for systemic changes

Monday, October 5, 2015

GREENFIELD — With ears from all levels of government in the room Monday — regional, state and federal — local addiction recovery advocates took the opportunity to point out areas for improvements in how to fight addiction. During … 1

Locals add voices to D.C. rally of thousands for recovery

Sunday, October 4, 2015

“The crowd, it’s just this enthusiastic happy crowd that’s just done with being silent, they’re done with being silent about addiction ... oh, the surgeon general’s on stage right now,” Linda Sarage said, from the National Mall in … 0

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 … 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 … 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 … 1

Greenfield Health Board eyes needle exchange

Thursday, September 10, 2015

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Board of Health is beginning to look at the idea of a needle exchange. Board member Dr. William Doyle said the board had brief discussion about it this week. “We may look at it I think, but we’ve got to study it a long … 0

Mental health, addiction intervention training funded with $360K grant

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Clinical & Support Options, a Northampton-based mental health agency with offices in Greenfield, has received a three-year, $366,813 grant from The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to provide free youth “Mental Health First Aid” trainings in Franklin and Hampshire counties and the North Quabbin Region. Mental … 0

What’s behind Hepatitis C increase in Franklin County?

Sunday, September 6, 2015

GREENFIELD — As Hepatitis C rates have risen sharply in Franklin County, neighboring Hampshire County has seen a slower trend and a lower rate, tempered perhaps by prevention efforts. Franklin County’s rate of 131 newly discovered Hepatitis C … 0

Montague Police continue campaign to keep discarded hypodermic needles in their place

Friday, September 4, 2015

TURNERS FALLS — A hypodermic needle disposal box in the police station joins several that the Montague Police Department has sent out around Turners Falls this spring, to high-traffic local businesses and the village park. Now, a syringe disposal box hangs on the wall inside the station near … 0

Traffic stop leads to heroin arrest

Monday, August 31, 2015

GREENFIELD — A Warwick man faces a drug possession charge after he was arrested on multiple warrants early Monday morning. Justin Mason, 30, of 39 Pine St. in Warwick was arrested and charged with possession of a Class A drug after police stopped the vehicle he was traveling … 0

Hepatitis C rate increases sharply in county

Friday, August 21, 2015

GREENFIELD — Franklin County’s Hepatitis C rate has risen dramatically in recent years, outpacing the statewide increase. The viral liver infection increase raises questions about its connection to spreading heroin use, the long-term financial impact on state-supported health … 0