The national opioid epidemic has not overlooked the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. However, there has been some good news for the state: according to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the number of fatal overdoses has gone down an estimated 10 percent in 2017.
Worcester bucks the trend
Unfortunately, those numbers do not apply to Worcester, where the number of overdoses and fatal overdoses has remained stubbornly close to recent years. Moreover, according to one local news report, the number of local 911 calls for overdoses looks to surpass last year with over 600 in the first half of the year.
Conversely, while the numbers are up, the number of fatal overdoses is down citywide thanks to the successful use of Narcan (which reverses an opioid overdose) by Worcester Fire and Police departments.
Addiction is a disease not a crime
Law enforcement and other public safety officials have taken to carrying Narcan, but the next step still needs to be treatment. There are countless studies about the cost and burden on the justice system to prosecute lesser drug crimes. Following the lead of treating overdoses, the next step for getting help for you or a loved one is to seek treatment.
An attorney can help
A criminal defense attorney’s role is not to help someone kick drugs, but they can often be advocate. They can fight on behalf of those facing drug charges to receive sentencing related to treating the disease with treatment and counseling rather lengthy jail sentences, which have proven to actually make matters worse for the drug abuser or addict.