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Focusing on the Boston and state-wide opioid-related overdose and death epidemic and the 400% increase in deaths from 2000-2015, Margaret Farmer, Candidate for Boston City Council, has called for creating a Boston version of the Angel program, pioneered and already successful in Gloucester, where an individual can walk into a police station and ask for help finding treatment.

“I know firsthand that we have an opioid crisis in our city and Commonwealth. People are dying from it every day and the state’s own data shows just how big of a problem we have on our hands,” said Farmer, currently Director of Development at North Suffolk Mental Health Association.

Farmer also supports expanding capacity to handle the increased number of people wanting treatment, “I will also push for an increase in the number of Rapid Access Treatment beds ensuring that those seeking help with addiction can get it immediately” Farmer noted.

Stressing the importance of community involvement, Farmer noted that local initiatives—Charlestown’s Turn it Around, East Boston’s Alliance for Support, Treatment, Intervention and Education, and the North End’s North End Against Drugs– will help after an individual has become addicted, but we must work hardest at prevention. “Groups like these should be allowed into our schools to provide educational programs to steer students away from opioids and other drugs. Doctors also have an important role to play. It is well documented that prescription opioids are often the gateway to addiction.”

“As your city councilor, I will work with the Boston Public Health Department to ensure that doctors get the training they need to help cut down new instances of addiction,” Farmer concluded.

Resources:
http://www.mass.gov/chapter55/
http://www.mass.gov/courts/programs/specialty-courts/drug-courts-facts-and-statistics.html
https://www.mass.gov/service-details/current-opioid-statistics

Margaret Farmer is currently running to represent District 1 in the Boston City Council. District 1 includes East Boston, Charlestown, and the North End. You can read more about her positions on Massport and other issues at http://margaretfarmerforboston.org

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