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Addiction in Franklin County

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 “Fall River Dreams” by Bill Reynolds, a look at Herren’s high school basketball team to “Basketball Junkie,” Herren’s 2011 memoir and the ESPN film “Unguarded,” Herren’s life has been well-documented. Monday, he will share that story in person in Greenfield. The talk, free and open to the public, is scheduled for 4 … 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

New funding comes through to track painkiller abuse

Friday, September 5, 2014

GREENFIELD — A $203,770 federal grant will help area drug abuse prevention and law enforcement agencies monitor painkiller abuse and track abuse trends with a new program. “This is an enormous boost in the efforts to fight the scourge of drug abuse that threatens our communities daily,” Northwestern District Attorney David Sullivan said Friday. The grant will help regulatory and law enforcement agencies … 0

Can hospital adjust to provide detox-like care?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

GREENFIELD — There is the potential for something that could approximate a detox program at Baystate Franklin Medical Center. BFMC Clinical Pharmacist Ed Tessier, with a group of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, psychiatrists, psychologists, addiction medicine specialists and case managers from across the Baystate Health system, is … 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