Franklin County

Overdose related deaths on the rise in Massachusetts

More than 1,000 people died from overdose in MA in 2014

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Many families in Franklin County know what it feels like to have a loved one battling addiction.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says heroin and prescription painkillers killed more than a 1,000 people in 2014 and that the state is on track to exceed that number this year.

Justin McNary from the Recover Project in Greenfield told 22News, they need more resources for people who are battling addiction. "Treatment beds are very, very hard to find. I was on the phone with somebody this morning who's been trying to get in for three days and there isn't a bed from Pittsfield to Westborough for her and, you know, she's certainty not the only one," said McNary.

McNary also told 22News, he knows of three overdose deaths in the last three weeks. Many people die from overdosing because the people around them are afraid to call for help, but the Good Samaritan Law protects those who call 9-1-1, to report an overdose, from being arrested.

One recovering alcoholic told 22News, positivity and support helped her get sober. "Even just kind words. No judgements and those kind of things really go a long way," said Cynthia Dacey of Greenfield.

The Health Department said people are dying from overdose at twice the rate than from the previous decade.


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