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Massachusetts provides $700,000 fund to communities hit by opioid overdose deaths

Published On: 03-15-2016 in Category: addiction, overdose deaths


With the opioid overdose death rate increasing by leaps and bounds, the authorities in America have been doing their best to control the situation. Looking at the precarious situation, the Massachusetts government has decided to fund communities in the state to store supplies of Naloxone that can counter opioid overdoses.

The number of cases of unintentional opioid overdose deaths rose to 1,089 in 2014 from 911 in 2013, a rise of 20 percent, while it shot up by alarmingly by 63 percent from the 668 deaths in 2012.

In January 2016, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced $700,000 fund for larger and smaller communities that are affected by opioid overdose deaths. The money has been extracted from the last year’s operating budget.

The funds will be equally distributed among departments concerned to purchase Naloxone, which is available under the brand name Narcan and is administered immediately to reverse the effects of overdose. In 2015, the government had created a bulk purchase fund to make Narcan cheaper for municipalities.

The grants will be available to communities that qualify a certain criteria. The communities should have annual rate of six opioid-related deaths per 100,000 residents and an average annual count of four opioid overdose deaths annually between 2009 and 2013. The budget is also distributed on the basis of the population of a particular community.

Distribution of funds

Baker feels that the effort to make Narcan available to people can help save lives. Narcan is available free of cost at Tapestry Health locations across Western Massachusetts, including Northampton and Holyoke. Since Fall River tops the list with the maximum overdose deaths, it received around $29,000 fund.

“The use of Naloxone is one of our state’s greatest success stories in the fight against the opioid epidemic,” Department of Public Health Commissioner Monica Bharel told the ABC News. With the increasing number of substance abuse cases and addiction problems in the area, the Baker administration has earmarked $114 million for 2016 which will be used to prevent substance abuse and control  prescription painkiller  addiction.

Combating opioid epidemic

The state government has also taken other steps to control opioid overdose. Now, medical personnel are available to manage overdose cases. The authorities are mulling other reforms to support first responders by providing immediate life-saving resources.

There is still a large part of the communities under the influence of drugs. And to get rid of drugs, one should act immediately and seek help of dedicated treatment centers and counsellors. However, it is unlikely that an addict will reach out for help or get enrolled in the de-addiction process on his own.

If you or your loved one is battling addiction, call the Boston Drug Treatment and Rehab Center to learn about the best treatment available in your area. You may call our 24/7 helpline at 857-254-1818 or chat online with our representative for further information.

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