Substance abuse and Opioid Addiction

Substance abuse and opioid addiction is a public health crisis affecting our community. It affects virtually every community throughout the Commonwealth, and across the country.

It is time we addressed it in substantive ways rather than believing it only happens in "other" communities.

Our town, the Town of South Hadley, through our own municipal leadership collaborating with other communities and agencies, have compiled valuable resources. These resources can be used to confront this crisis, saving lives by supporting the individuals, families and care-givers who are on the front lines, struggling to overcome the grip of opioid addiction that has taken hold of our neighbors, friends, and loved ones. The prevention programs, intervention methods and support services need to be brought together and unleashed in a structured assault. Town leadership wants to bring everything we have to blitz this troubling opioid reality that has taken root in every community and only eradicated through comprehensive leadership and resources working together.
 
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has identified a personal fear of police involvement by bystanders as a leading cause of inaction in overdose situations but It is important to intervene immediately when you are with an overdose victim, as the Good Samaritan Law https://malegislature.gov/Laws/GeneralLaws/PartI/TitleXV/Chapter94C/Section34A will protect anyone with only a small amount of drugs, intended for personal consumption, from prosecution.  Witnesses, friends and other bystanders  can contact emergency personnel to convey that someone is not breathing, with a clear address and location. Survival rates dramatically improve when medical intervention is quickly administered. The Good Samaritan Law is intended to add lifesaving measures to prevent overdose deaths, and can also help to break down barriers around the stigma of substance abuse. 
 
Our local leaders are working every day to disseminate information, enhance public awareness, and engage the community as a whole on the issues of substance abuse and prevention.