Substance abuse and opioid addition is a public health crisis affecting virtually every community in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Upton officials can and must provide leadership to guide the effort to combat this epidemic that is affecting our community. We all know someone, be it a family member, a neighbor, a friend, or colleague that has been exposed to the challenges created by this heartbreaking public health crisis. No one is immune from this tragic epidemic or the struggles that confront and imperil families dealing with opioid addiction.
Upton’s leadership pledges to help our community by developing a resource guide for families, those seeking treatment and assistance, pilot innovative programs for our community’s needs, partner with our school districts to implement programs aimed at prevention, and we will work collaboratively with private and public organizations to help our community deal with this epidemic.
In Upton, your Selectmen, Chief of Police, Fire Chief, Board of Health, Council of Aging, and Regional School District recognize the need for education and resources concerning opioid use and abuse for both individuals and families. Upton’s leadership created a task force that is partnering with a local community outreach organization, Community Impact Inc; the goal of the newly formed partnership is to provide education and referral of resources to those in need.
The Town of Upton has implemented the following practices;
- We are increasing public awareness and engagement.
- We have designated Amy Leone, MA, MS, LMHC as the municipal point person on substance abuse prevention, resources and treatment.
- We publicize the Good Samaritan Law. Upton's Police believe education and prevention are essential in the battle of substance abuse. We have provided Upton's first responders with naloxone (Narcan) to prevent overdose deaths and transport victims to medical treatment. We have created a safe disposal site for discarding of prescription drugs and used needles.
- We are collaborating in regional efforts.
- We are partnering with our schools to develop and implement programs aimed at engaging students in education and prevention as early as is appropriate. The Regional School District is deeply committed to the instruction of good decision-making and prosocial behaviors for all students in grades K-12. A summary of programming/resources for students and their families may be found at this link: http://bit.ly/mursd
- We have developed a one-page resource guide for families and those seeking treatment or assistance.