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Addiction in Franklin County

Franklin County, Athol work to monitor their own overdoses

Friday, July 18, 2014

How do you deal with a problem you can’t pin down until years after the fact? Those seeking to address the heroin problem in this area are not content to live with that situation, so a system is being put into place to provide numbers on overdoses years ahead of slow state reports. In June, for example, a 15-year-old girl overdosed on Tylenol; three women, ages 42, 23 and 25 … 0

Alleged heroin trafficker arraigned in Superior Court

Friday, July 18, 2014

GREENFIELD — Heroin trafficking charges against a Westfield man have been brought before Franklin Superior Court. Antonio Rivera III, 28, also known as “Gizmo,” of 9 Leonard St. in Westfield, pleaded innocent to charges of trafficking in heroin and heroin possession Friday. He was ordered held on $10,000 cash bail. Rivera’s attorney, Robert … 0

Jail staff finds hidden drug

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

GREENFIELD — Several people are facing drug charges after county jail employees uncovered a variety of schemes to smuggle an addiction-fighting drug into the facility. Though they are charged in three separate cases, they all share similar elements. People on the outside allegedly hid Suboxone, an opioid prescribed to fight heroin withdrawals, in … 0

Finding detox and rehab — too little, too far

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Whether in a medical setting or a bedroom, detoxification is the first step in recovery, it is the several days during which the body gets through the worst of the physical symptoms of withdrawal. Withdrawal from heroin or opioids is not itself life-threatening. It can be, however, exceptionally … 0

A cautionary tale: Addiction devastates families when children succumb

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Greg is struggling to help two children try to recover from their addiction. “My biggest fear is them being dead. I know people that are dead from it, personally, and if not death then a life of misery … 0

What are some signs of addiction?

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Here are the possible signs or symptoms of prescription opioid or heroin abuse, compiled in part by the Woburn District Court Probation Department’s Heroin Education and Awareness Task Force: ∎ constricted, pinpoint pupils ∎ nodding out ∎ vomiting … 0

Recovery is what she does

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Melissa O’Malley begins each day with prayer and continues it with 12-step meetings and recovery groups at The Grapevine on Chapman Street and The RECOVER Project at the corner of Federal and Osgood streets in Greenfield. Recovery is … 0

Advice for parents from a pro

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

“Cunning, baffling, powerful” is how Alcoholics Anonymous literature describes alcohol, and how Greenfield therapist Douglas Grote describes addiction in general And he has some advice for parents faced with that terrible threat. Drug use and the potential for addiction or death isn’t limited to the formative years, but … 0

2 possible overdoses in less than a day in Greenfield

Monday, May 5, 2014

The same day local first responders were learning how to administer a heroin overdose antidote, Greenfield police responded to a possible drug overdose death. A woman found her boyfriend face down in the bathroom early Monday morning after she woke up in the middle of the night to … 0

‘We can’t arrest our way out of this’

Monday, May 5, 2014

The phrase “we can’t arrest our way out of this problem” has been heard again and again from police and politicians this winter as the opiate abuse crisis worsened and attention grew. Franklin County Sheriff Christopher Donelan sees … 1

Is education a key?

Monday, May 5, 2014

“What I see often is a civil commitment petition brought by a parent who has just discovered their child is a heroin addict, much to their shock,” said Greenfield District Court Presiding Judge William F. Mazanec III. “If … 0

Painkillers, easy heroin supply partly to blame

Monday, May 5, 2014

Why is heroin the problem drug of the moment? Experts say that prescription opioids — close relatives of the illegal drug — often provide a deceptively soft introduction through legitimate medical use or illicit abuse. In addition, increased … 0

A brief history of heroin

Monday, May 5, 2014

Heroin wasn’t always illegal. Pharmacologists developed morphine from the opium poppy in the early 1800s, then heroin from morphine before the end of the century. The Bayer Company began marketing heroin in 1898 — a year before aspirin … 0

What’s in a name? Opiates vs. opioids

Monday, May 5, 2014

Is it an opiate or an opioid? Until recently the catch-all term was opiate ... then opiate and opioid became differentiated and for the moment the two are most often used interchangeably while discussing in general heroin, oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and all the other natural and synthetic children … 0

Amid the cries for help, community efforts to solve the problem have only just begun

Sunday, May 4, 2014

GREENFIELD — Newborn babies in withdrawal scream. “I hear that scream in my sleep,” says Dr. Ruth Potee, a local family practitioner who is among those leading the charge against the scourge of addiction in Franklin County. Many … 0