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Addiction in Franklin County

Recorder/Paul Franz
A packet of heroin emptied out on a latex glove at Greenfield Police Department.  Each bag costs around seven to ten dollars.

Mass. bill would let addicts turn in drugs without fear of prosecution

Monday, February 8, 2016

BOSTON — Special kiosks set up at some police stations collect unwanted and unused prescription medication, and some departments accept unwanted guns and ammunition on dedicated takeback days. Massachusetts police departments could next become a point for addicts seeking recovery to turn in unwanted heroin and other drugs, without the threat of prosecution, under legislation recently filed by Rep. Ann-Margaret … 0

White House announces $1 billion for opioid crisis, in part dedicated to rural areas

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

GREENFIELD — Against the backdrop of a deepening opioid addiction crisis that claimed the lives of an estimated 1,173 Massachusetts residents in 2014, the White House announced Tuesday that President Barack Obama’s budget for 2017 will include $1.1 billion for fighting the epidemic. Notably, part of that funding is dedicated for rural areas … 0

State: Opioid-related deaths continue to rise

Monday, January 25, 2016

GREENFIELD — Opioid-related overdose deaths were up statewide in the first nine months of 2015 compared to the same period in 2014, according to recent state statistics. The data, drawn from the state Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, paints a picture of a deepening opioid addiction crisis in Massachusetts, even as state … 0

Learn to Cope: New support group for families hit by addiction

Sunday, May 31, 2015

GREENFIELD — The stress, loneliness, judgment and other pressures that can come with a loved one’s addiction need an outlet, and Learn to Cope hopes to provide it in the Franklin County area with a support group offering ears and advice. “As you can imagine, people who are … 0

Knowledge over stigma: Franklin County Opioid Task Force focuses on changing perceptions of addiction

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

GREENFIELD — Why don’t people get help for addiction? Because they get treated like addicts. Tuesday’s meeting of the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin focused on changing minds by looking at how minds work, with Dr. Ruth Potee of Valley Medical Group laying … 0

Full Opioid Task Force meeting Tuesday

Friday, May 22, 2015

GREENFIELD — The Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region will hold a full-group meeting Tuesday. Dr. Ruth Potee will speak on the physiology of addiction. Potee, of Valley Medical Group, treats addiction in … 0

Sen. Markey proposes prescription education bill, pushes prescription monitoring and drug take-backs

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A federal law targeting over-prescription of painkillers to help stem the addiction crisis has been proposed by U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey. The bill was introduced on Wednesday, and Markey has begun calling on federal agencies dealing with high-risk groups to participate in state prescription monitoring programs. According … 0

Fighting addiction before it starts

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Franklin Regional Council of Governments was among 26 municipalities and institutions awarded $2.9 million in grants through the Department of Public Health Monday, money the administration said is intended to combat opioid abuse before it starts. Locally, it means continued life for the Communities that Care Coalition’s … 0

Athol bust nets heroin, cocaine and three suspects

Monday, May 11, 2015

ATHOL — Two local men face drug charges after drug busts netted heroin, cocaine and cash, and a third will be brought to court at a later date. Eric Legarge, 29, of 891 Pleasant St., pleaded innocent Friday in Orange District Court to possession of heroin with intent … 0

Arrest made in $12,000 Shelburne Falls Eagles Club burglary

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

SHELBURNE FALLS — A Buckland man was charged with burglary, heroin possession and other crimes after police say he broke into the Eagles Club and stole “at least $12,000” in cash over the weekend. Robert Schempp, 32, of 11 Dungarvin Drive, pleaded innocent in Greenfield District Court Wednesday … 0

Greenfield police: drug raid target admitted to selling heroin

Friday, May 1, 2015

GREENFIELD — A local man has been charged with drug dealing and child endangerment after police say they found heroin and dirty needles in the apartment he shares with his girlfriend and a small child. Everett Kendrick, 39, … 0

Mass. releases new opioid OD death data

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

BOSTON — State health officials say more than 1,000 people died as a result of opioid-related overdoses in Massachusetts last year — an increase of 33 percent from 2012 and part of an ongoing spike in deaths blamed on prescription drug and heroin abuse. The state Department of … 0

Greenfield Human Rights Commission will hold hearing on heroin crisis tonight

Sunday, April 12, 2015

GREENFIELD — The town’s Human Rights Commission will hold a public hearing tonight at 6 p.m. in Town Hall to discuss the heroin crisis in Greenfield and Franklin County. Chairman Lewis Metaxas said the commission will discuss the crisis, the efforts being made to solve it and the … 0

Greenfield, Orange police: let us pick up dirty needles

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

While the Montague police chief has asked for the public’s help in disposing of discarded heroin needles, his counterparts in Greenfield and Orange advise people to let the professionals handle them. Chief Charles “Chip” Dodge said Montague police get calls about discarded syringes on a daily basis, and … 0

Montague police seek public’s help on needle problem

Monday, April 6, 2015

MONTAGUE — Local police are called to pick up used syringes every day, and they expect calls of discarded needles to skyrocket as the melting snow continues to reveal them on the roadsides. Chief Charles “Chip” Dodge is … 0