Industrial Opioid Crisis – Mass First Responders Deploy 20,000 + Narcan Life Saving Doses in 2016
Opioid and Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis.
Boston, MA: Like many states, Massachusetts is experiencing a prescription drug and heroin epidemic. Last year, more than 2,000 residents died of an overdose. Overdose deaths now outnumber those due to car accidents. Not only is this a public safety issue – it is a public health issue. The Mass. Attorney General’s Office is committed to ending this crisis.
Immediately after taking office, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that combatting this public health crisis would be her top priority, and she established an Opiate Task Force within her office. The Task Force, comprised of health care experts, law enforcement, advocates and public policy experts, is dedicated to tackling opiate and prescription drug abuse using a multi-disciplinary approach that includes enforcement, treatment, prevention and education efforts.
Project Here is an innovative partnership between the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, the GE Foundation, The Herren Project, and Epicenter Experience that will bring new substance use prevention resources to every public middle school in Massachusetts, starting in the Fall of 2017.
Naloxone (commonly known by the brand name Narcan) is a life-saving medication that reverses opioid overdoses. In 2016, first responders administered more than 20,000 doses of naloxone across Massachusetts. Police and fire departments rely heavily on this medication, which they must purchase themselves. In 2015, after reaching a $325,000 settlement with one of the manufacturers of naloxone, Attorney General Healey partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Legislature to create a Narcan Fund for cities and towns, known as the Municipal Naloxone Bulk Purchase Trust Fund. The Fund allows municipalities to purchase naloxone for use by first responders at a heavily discounted rate.
To make a contribution to the Fund, please write a check to: Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Please write “Narcan Fund” in the memo line of the check, and mail the check to:
State Office of Pharmacy
369 East Street
Tewksbury, MA 01876