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Addiction in Franklin County

Franklin County Opioid Task Force regroups, continues

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

GREENFIELD — The area Opioid Task Force met Tuesday for a look at the big picture of addiction in Franklin County and at reports from subcommittees working in various facets of the community problem. The meeting in the Greenfield Community College drew in the neighborhood of 100 people, with representatives of the Department of Public Health, local health and legal … 0

Hoop dreams, heroin nightmares

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

GREENFIELD — Chris Herren made it from the midsize coastal city of Fall River to his home team, the Boston Celtics. His path was paved with stints in rehab as he struggled with escalating substance abuse running the gamut from alcohol to cocaine, crystal meth and heroin. From the early promise chronicled in … 0

Opioid Task Force to meet next week

Thursday, September 11, 2014

GREENFIELD — The re-named Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region holds its first full meeting since spring next week, and its members haven’t been idle in that time. “We’re kind of turning the next corner on this thing,” said Franklin County Register of Probate and task force co-founder John Merrigan. Addiction help is becoming more available and more … 0

Help is on the way ...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Ultimately, recovery is up to the individual, whether they come to that first step alone or in a jail cell. The next step, readjusting their brains, bodies and habits to sobriety often takes help that advocates say is … 0

Slipping into addiction can be easy, reclaiming your life can be hard

Friday, May 9, 2014

Addiction carries more than the average number of stereotypes. Like most, Christopher Lemay doesn’t really fit those. Lemay, 25, is a Greenfield native and 2007 graduate of Greenfield High School. He was a multi-sport varsity athlete at GHS, … 0

Suboxone can have dangerous, deadly downsides

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Buprenorphine — Suboxone or Subutex — may be as widely diverted and abused as any prescription opioid on the market, although the reasons may be more complicated. Introduced in 2003 as a less dangerous, less abusable alternative to … 0

Narcan: the spritz of life ...

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Opioids are among the rare poisons with an easy, fast-acting antidote in case of acute, potentially deadly overdose. Distribution of naloxone hydrochloride, commonly known by the brand name Narcan, may be the most direct harm-reduction strategy in place. … 0

Recovery’s chemical options

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Serenity, who asked that her real name not be used for her family’s sake, started drinking when she was 8 years old. “A family member had sexually abused me and to cope with the pain, I started drinking,” … 0

How Franklin Medical tries to help babies born addicted

Thursday, May 8, 2014

GREENFIELD — Last year, of 460 babies delivered in Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s maternity ward, 22 required close observation for possible drug exposure in the womb and seven needed treatment in the form of morphine to ease withdrawal. … 0

Sharing pain, sparing drugs

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

TURNERS FALLS — Sheila Raye Charles, daughter of soul music legend Ray Charles, spoke Wednesday about her early life and struggles with addiction to an assembly of Turners Falls High School students. Charles and husband Michael Steptoe described … 0

Police: Woman’s heroin habit drove her to steal

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

GREENFIELD — Police say a local woman told them she stole to support her heroin habit after her arrest in connection with several car break-ins. Amanda Richmond, 25, of Deerfield St., was arrested on three counts of breaking … 0

Rehab, recovery programs absent or overwhelmed

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

“Exquisitely plastic” is how Dr. Ruben Baler, a scientist and lecturer for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, describes the human brain. The brain can bounce back from a lot, even heroin. Most of the time. “You want … 0

Pushing recovery: help if you want it or not, from jail, courts

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Some believe the only path to lasting recovery is for the user to hit rock bottom and choose to stop, that recovery can’t be coerced. Others believe that it can at least be prodded. Voluntary or involuntary, most … 0

Recovery: outpatient help for intertwined addiction, mental health problems

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

“Two years ago ... just two years ago, having a 14- or 15-year-old come in, identifying right at the time of intake (as) addicted to heroin, that just wasn’t a story we were seeing,” said Amy Olson, director of Clinical and Support Options’ Greenfield outpatient mental health clinic. … 0

Slave to drugs for a decade

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lance Rice marked his first full year of sobriety since middle school this February — at the age of 24. “I never want to use again and you know, I just want to be happy. I spent the … 0