Opioid Addiction: Our Neighbors Need Our Compassion, Understanding & Support
Opioid addiction is an epidemic that cannot be overlooked as it is affecting every segment of our community. We need to acknowledge the epidemic so we can break the stigma and change perspectives surrounding addiction and mental health. Addiction is a disease, not a choice.
We must begin with outreach to educate our children of the dangers of drug abuse and focus on positive coping mechanisms.
Working together with our public health and safety officials, social service agencies and our hospital, we need to ensure adequate and timely treatment for those in need.
As mayor, I pledge to supplement the current work of our public health and public safety officials, social service agencies and our hospital by:
- Reducing barriers to treatment through outreach to vulnerable populations. My aim will be to expand our capacity of essential resources in the area, specifically detox programs and mental health support;
- Ensuring our front-line personnel are prepared to use Narcan when necessary and able to provide an access point for recovery;
- Actively engaging new funding opportunities and partner organizations that can further support the work of our law enforcement, local community organizations, and medical research;
- Implementing drug abuse prevention and risk behavior management education early with our children by encouraging the use of positive coping mechanisms, active communication with their peers, and healthy hobbies; and,
- Educating our community on ways to proactively engage those who are suffering from opioid addiction. Therefore, promoting healthier relationships with our neighbors and realizing that no one deserves to be left behind while battling this disease.
Massachusetts leads our nation in powerful legislation aimed at curbing drug addiction.
Massachusetts is first in the nation to set limits on first-time and emergency room opiate prescriptions and first to pass legislation requiring pain medications to have abuse-deterrent qualities, such as specially formulated medications that cannot be crushed.
These are the progressive steps our city will be working tirelessly to expand on.
Successful addiction treatment is dependent on ensuring continuous support throughout the recovery process, until our neighbors feel confident and comfortable with their quality of living. Our neighbors afflicted with addiction need our compassion, our understanding and most importantly our support.