Addiction in Franklin County

RECOVER Project Director Linda Sarage and granddaughter Meckenzie at the Unite to Face Addiction rally Sunday in D.C.
Submitted photo

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 Washington D.C. on Sunday evening. Sarage, director of the RECOVER Project peer-to-peer addiction recovery center in Greenfield, traveled with a group of … 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 visited the area Monday. State Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Jay Ash stopped at … 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 children caught in the middle. Judge Beth Crawford, First Justice of the Franklin Probate and … 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

Greenfield Youth Football League embezzler: The drugs made me do it

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

GREENFIELD — A local woman who stole $5,986 from the Greenfield Youth Football League to feed her drug habit has been ordered to repay the money. Margary Fisher, 38, of 36 Elm St., admitted to sufficient facts for conviction on a charge of larceny over $250 by a … 0

Greenfield man, girlfriend arrested in heroin bust

Thursday, February 26, 2015

GREENFIELD — A local couple faces heroin charges after a raid of an apartment turned up almost 300 bags of heroin, according to police. Joseph Ewig, 22, of 207 Chapman St., apartment 2, pleaded innocent in Greenfield District … 0

Police: N.Y. man arrested for dealing painkillers

Friday, February 20, 2015

GREENFIELD — Police confiscated nearly 400 pain pills and arrested a New York man on drug dealing charges. George Flores, 35, of New York City, pleaded innocent in Greenfield District Court Friday to a single charge of possession of a Class B drug with intent to distribute. He … 0

Franklin County opioid use numbers posted on state website

Thursday, February 19, 2015

In 2013, Franklin County residents filled prescriptions for 2,877,031 doses of highly abusable schedule two opioids, a classification including oxycodone, the principal ingredient in the tradename compounds Percocet and OxyContin. This and other numbers gathered by the state prescription monitoring program and released Wednesday by the Baker administration … 0