Addiction in Franklin County
Karen Sims photo 
Paula Sayword looks out from the ledge at Chaco Canyon where she and her partner, Karen Sims, created a funeral ritual for their granddaughter, Ashley Sims, who they raised as a daughter and lost to an accidental heroin overdose in December of 2012.

Poets of Franklin County: Soul Chant

Friday, September 19, 2014

Editor’s note: this is the second in a series of columns by Trish Crapo on poetry that explores aspects of addiction. Readers can find links to her first column on our website: www.recorder.com Ashley Sims died at the age of 22 of an accidental heroin overdose in her Greenfield apartment on Dec. 11, 2012. It was her grandmother Karen Sims’ birthday. Ashley had planned to come to Leyden that night for a celebratory dinner, said Paula Sayword, Sim’s partner and Ashley’s grandmother. “Instead, she was dead on the floor. She didn’t intend to die,” Sayword continued. “We never questioned whether it was on purpose.” Just … 0

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 … 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

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

Insured often wrestle with insurers to get longer rehab care

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Addiction treatment runs primarily on insurance and tax dollars. The state Department of Public Health funds programs like ServiceNet’s three Greenfield and Orange residential treatment homes — where patients pay what they can, often donating food stamp benefits to feed the group — and it backs The RECOVER … 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