Opiate addiction is a tremendously scary situation to find yourself in. When you are a family member of an addict, you will research the internet for information on where to turn to for help. Many of these searches will land you on rehabilitation facilities sales pitch on why they are the best facility for you or your loved one. The information that will educate you on opiate addiction is harder to find.
The district court system in Framingham, Massachusetts is trying to help. The district court has created an information filled pamphlet about substance abuse and mainly targets opiate abuse. Opiate abuse is by far the leading cause of crime in Framingham and it was necessary to make opiate’s the main focus of the pamphlet. The pamphlets will be readily available in the community and will be seen at police and fire departments and also showcased at hospitals and service agencies.
“I can’t tell you how many times men and women come here and they’ve gotten themselves hooked on opiates,” Framingham District Court Judge David Cunis said.
The idea for the pamphlets was created when Judge Cunis met with all police chiefs in the beginning of the year. They all expressed their concern for the growing opiate epidemic and how it was hurting their community. The two main culprits of destruction have been heroin and prescription painkillers.
To make the pamphlets a reality, Judge Cunis worked with Chief Probation Officer Daniel T. Marzilli and assistant Chief Probation Officer Michael Dube as well as Cathy Neidich, court clinician, to come up with the flier.
“The vast majority of our crimes come from alcohol abuse and substance abuse issues,” said Marzilli. “The problem we’re having now are that people are dying on the street. Hopefully with this, people may be able to identify when someone is having a problem. We’re trying to be proactive,” Neidich said.
The first 1,000 copies printed were paid for by the Framingham Police Association. The longer the pamphlets are around and the more hands they cross, they will be able to make revisions on some of the literature.
In this day and age, it still amazes me how hard it is to find solid information regarding opiate abuse and addiction. People search high and low and often come up short on searches they do. To many family members who may feel completely caught off guard, receiving a pamphlet with useful information about different options can be the difference between life and death for the person they love. Adding something as small as a pamphlet to community areas where they can be taken anonymously by someone in need can also save a life.
It will be interesting to see what kind of feedback the Framingham District Court receives from the pamphlets and I personally commend them for taking these steps in order to better educate their citizens.