Opioid task force awarded grant to help fight addiction

Franklin County

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region received more than $600,000 in a grant to help those facing addiction in the area.

The grant money is to be used over the course of two years. The opioid task force told 22News the money will be used to strengthen its prevention, intervention, treatment, and recovery efforts in the county and north Quabbin region.

The grant comes from the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s comprehensive opioid abuse program for the Rural Response Initiative. The task force is currently looking for a project coordinator.

We’re very excited that we received this money, this grant fund. We’re excited to be part of a national conversation about what it takes to look at how opioid use impacts rural communities exclusively.

Debra McLaughlin, coordinator for the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region

The task force was one of only 21 grant sites funded in the nation and the only one in New England. The grant will help implement the public health opioid response initiative.

The Franklin County Sheriff’s office is heading the implementation because the initiative is for those who encounter the criminal justice system and their families.

Sheriff Donelan told 22News nearly 90% of their incarcerated population has been diagnosed with substance or opioid use disorder.

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