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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

Baker to publish opioid tracking data

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker on Thursday plans to announce initial steps he will take to fight the opiate abuse crisis in Massachusetts, prying his attention for least a moment from the budget, snow and transportation issues that have consumed his first weeks in office. Baker plans to … 0

Paying for recovery

Monday, February 9, 2015

BOSTON — Private health insurance companies in Massachusetts will cover methadone treatment for people recovering from drug addiction starting this summer. The change means one more path to combat the opioid epidemic, according to those who treat addicts. Lora Pellegrini, chief executive officer and president of the Massachusetts … 0

Human Right Commission hearing on heroin on Monday

Thursday, February 5, 2015

GREENFIELD — The Greenfield Human Rights Commission will be holding a public hearing on Monday on the regional heroin crisis, the efforts being made to solve it, and the proposed recovery center by Behavioral Health Network at the … 0

Greenfield drug raid nets 26 single-use bags of heroin; 4 arrested

Friday, January 30, 2015

GREENFIELD — State and local police swarmed an Oak Courts apartment and arrested four people after heroin was allegedly found there. Police recovered 26 single-use bags of heroin in the Thursday night raid, and turned two children over … 0

Armed robber sentenced to 2½ to 3 years in state prison

Friday, January 16, 2015

GREENFIELD — A Bernardston man will spend up to a year in state prison for each of the three stores he robbed at gunpoint. Dylan Wickline, 19, pleaded guilty in Franklin Superior Court Friday to three counts of … 0

Heroin, opioid abuse at center of AG-elect’s agenda

Monday, January 5, 2015

GREENFIELD — A local group focused on fighting the heroin and prescription painkiller problem hopes the incoming attorney general’s recently announced plans will help combat drug abuse. Monday, AG-elect Maura Healey announced a multi-pronged plan to fight the state’s opioid addiction epidemic, and leaders of the county’s Opioid … 0

Heroin dealer sent to state prison

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

GREENFIELD — A Westfield man caught with nearly 1,000 bags of heroin was sent to state prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to reduced charges. Antonio Rivera III, 28, also known as “Gizmo,” pleaded guilty in Franklin Superior Court to a single charge of possession of heroin with intent … 0

Police: Loud exhaust leads to heroin discovery

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

GREENFIELD — Three men face heroin charges after a traffic stop for loud exhaust early Tuesday morning. Frankie Carrion, 39, of New Bedford, pleaded innocent in Greenfield District Court Tuesday to charges of possession of heroin, using a … 0

Police ID alleged bathroom bandit

Friday, December 5, 2014

GREENFIELD — Police seek a convicted bank robber and admitted heroin addict who they say robbed a man at knifepoint in a local bar’s bathroom. Jason “Jay” Comeau, 40, of Athol, is wanted in the Nov. 23 robbery … 0

‘Hungry Heart’ screening Monday at GCC

Friday, December 5, 2014

GREENFIELD — Rural Vermont and western Massachusetts are alike in their current struggle with heroin and prescription opioid addiction, and a documentary to be screened Monday at Greenfield Community College holds a mirror to the local problem. Filmed in Vermont, the documentary “Hungry Heart” follows a family physician … 0

Selectmen address opioid problem

Thursday, November 13, 2014

GREENFIELD — Small town governments are another avenue through which the Opioid Task Force is looking to get traction on the heroin and painkiller problem. Thursday night Opioid Task Force member John Merrigan and coordinator Marisa Hebble presented data on the problem and information on efforts underway to … 0

State police confiscate 1,000 bags of heroin and an infant in Greenfield bust

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

GREENFIELD — A Springfield woman was arrested and an infant taken into custody after a speeding stop turned up 1,000 bags of heroin, according to state police. Nia Moore-Bush, 24, pleaded innocent in Greenfield District Court Wednesday to … 1