Forum at UMass Amherst Addresses Opioid Crisis

Forum at UMass Amherst Addresses Opioid Crisis

September 13, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


[APPLAUSE] The opioid overdose deaths
have been increasing in Western Massachusetts. In 2018, taken collectively,
we had a 73% increase from the previous year. This is significant
and it’s concerning. The UMass School
of Public Health has been a leader in
research in this area, particularly in how this crisis
affects Western Massachusetts. So we wanted to build
on that expertise. We wanted to bring community
leaders together and focus on the latest research to
help address this crisis. Because when you look at
the data at the countries in our world where the biggest
difference has been made, it is places where ready,
easy access to medication assisted treatment
is available, period. It’s ongoing and chronic
for a lot of people. So it can be very devastating. It just comes down
to everybody really deserves to be healthy and
have access to needed care. So here at the School
of Public Health, we’re partnering with quite
a few community members. So those in the
criminal justice system, like the Sheriff’s department in
Franklin and Hampshire County, and elsewhere across the
state, but also health care delivery organizations, like
Bay State Health, Providence. So it’s a chance for us to all
come together and figure out how we can deliver
evidence based care and create programs
that encourage, help, and support
people achieve recovery from opioid use disorder.