Boston suburb copes with opioid overdose deaths

The opioid overdose epidemic is killing an average of four people a day in Massachusetts, according to Martha Bebinger, a reporter for WBUR radio in Boston.

She recently reported on how the national opioid addiction epidemic is affecting Everett, Massachusetts (pop 42,935), where there have been 23 opioid overdose deaths in the first seven months of 2015.

Her story, “Everett Families, Doctors and First Responders Work to Combat Spike in Overdose Deaths” reports that Everett firefighters have used naloxone to revive 21 patients since December.

An emergency department physician in Everett, Dr. Melissa Lai Becker, says that many patients seek help can’t find detox programs that specialize in opioid abuse or counselors to help them. Many are told they’ll have to wait days, weeks or months for treatment.

“If you want to tackle drug issues you have to tackle mental health issues,” says Everett Fire Department Capt. Anthony O’Brien. ”Until we resolve ourselves, saying that’s what we want to do, then you’re kind of wasting your time.”

Read the full story, or listen to the recording, here.

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