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Addiction in Franklin County

Selectmen address opioid problem

Thursday, November 13, 2014

GREENFIELD — Small town governments are another avenue through which the Opioid Task Force is looking to get traction on the heroin and painkiller problem. Thursday night Opioid Task Force member John Merrigan and coordinator Marisa Hebble presented data on the problem and information on efforts underway to the members of the Franklin County Selectmen’s Association. “Selectmen are the leaders in their communities and we should be addressing the issue … 0

State police confiscate 1,000 bags of heroin and an infant in Greenfield bust

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

GREENFIELD — A Springfield woman was arrested and an infant taken into custody after a speeding stop turned up 1,000 bags of heroin, according to state police. Nia Moore-Bush, 24, pleaded innocent in Greenfield District Court Wednesday to charges of trafficking heroin, driving without a license and speeding. Moore-Bush was pulled over for … 1

Portable meth lab found in Athol car

Monday, October 27, 2014

ATHOL — Police discovered a portable methamphetamine lab in Athol Friday, a possible first in the area. Athol police arrested Joseph Hamel, 28, and subsequently called the State Police Fire and Explosion Unit and the Drug Enforcement Agency to remove a portable meth lab from the back of his mother’s car. Methamphetamine labs … 0

How Franklin Medical tries to help babies born addicted

Thursday, May 8, 2014

GREENFIELD — Last year, of 460 babies delivered in Baystate Franklin Medical Center’s maternity ward, 22 required close observation for possible drug exposure in the womb and seven needed treatment in the form of morphine to ease withdrawal. … 0

Sharing pain, sparing drugs

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

TURNERS FALLS — Sheila Raye Charles, daughter of soul music legend Ray Charles, spoke Wednesday about her early life and struggles with addiction to an assembly of Turners Falls High School students. Charles and husband Michael Steptoe described … 0

Police: Woman’s heroin habit drove her to steal

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

GREENFIELD — Police say a local woman told them she stole to support her heroin habit after her arrest in connection with several car break-ins. Amanda Richmond, 25, of Deerfield St., was arrested on three counts of breaking … 0

Rehab, recovery programs absent or overwhelmed

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

“Exquisitely plastic” is how Dr. Ruben Baler, a scientist and lecturer for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, describes the human brain. The brain can bounce back from a lot, even heroin. Most of the time. “You want … 0

Pushing recovery: help if you want it or not, from jail, courts

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Some believe the only path to lasting recovery is for the user to hit rock bottom and choose to stop, that recovery can’t be coerced. Others believe that it can at least be prodded. Voluntary or involuntary, most … 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