Addiction in Franklin County

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 in as a passenger on Pierce Street around 1 a.m. Officer Jay Butynski wrote in the police report that he was patrolling … 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 programs, and leads to discussion about needle exchange programs for addicts. Hepatitis infection is spread … 0

Narcan saves 2 overdose victims on Tuesday

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

GREENFIELD — Narcan carried by police and by a bystander stopped two overdoses Tuesday in Greenfield. A report of an overdose at 1:46 a.m. brought Greenfield police to Deerfield Street. The caller said she was walking a man home when he said he couldn’t walk any longer and passed out. Police found him on a Deerfield Street lawn, barely responsive with pinpoint pupils … 0

Two charged with possession after Deerfield traffic stop

Sunday, March 29, 2015

DEERFIELD — Two Amherst residents face heroin charges after a traffic stop Friday night on Route 116. Deerfield Police Sgt. Harry Ruddock said Dennis Lavigne, 35, and Emily Browne, 22, both of 12 Weaver Circle in Amherst, were arrested and charged with heroin possession. Browne was also charged … 0

New program aims to help people get treatment before they break the law

Friday, March 27, 2015

GREENFIELD — For those dealing with mental health or drug abuse issues, it’s easy to get into the court system, but hard to climb back out. A federal-grant-funded program hopes to keep Franklin County folks from getting lost in the system. Franklin County Register of Probate and member … 0

Dual early morning Athol raids net drugs, gun

Thursday, March 26, 2015

ATHOL — Two local men were arrested on drug charges in separate early morning raids. Juan Vega, 40, of 498 Cottage St., and Joshua Davoren, 26, of 21 Hamlet St., were both held without bail pending arraignments in … 0

Opioid Task Forces to hold meeting for volunteers Tuesday

Thursday, March 26, 2015

GREENFIELD — The Opioid Task Force is looking to harvest the talents of a broader volunteer base. The task force will be hosting a meeting Tuesday in Faith Baptist Church for interested volunteers. “We’ve had a lot of people contact the Task Force to just say, ‘I want … 0

Supporting local mothers with substance abuse issues

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

GREENFIELD — In the first half of 2014, some 7 percent of patients at The Birthplace at Baystate Franklin Medical Center were affected by substance abuse during their pregnancies — a 2 percent increase from 2013, according to … 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 … 1

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