According to a February 2017 report by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MDPH), a total of 11,321 unintentional opioid-related deaths were registered in Massachusetts between 2000 and 2015. In 15 years, the number of opioid-related deaths per year in the state has increased by a staggering 493%. While the long-term goal for those directly affected by addiction to opioid substances is to receive adequate treatment and sustained support, clinical experts and government officials all agree that saving their lives must come first.
June being the National Safety Month, Whittier Street Health Center invites community members of all ages, genders and gender identities, races and national origins to reflect and take action. We are each other’s keeper. Whittier also encourages all to seek more education on the subject of opioids and the prevention of opioid overdoses, including formal training in the use of naloxone nasal spray – a life-saving medication used to reverse overdoses. Who knows, you may just need to use it and save a relative, friend, or neighbor’s life.
We must all fight in order to win and create a safer environment for all, particularly the most vulnerable: the elderly, the very young, and the underserved. All are welcome at Whittier, and we encourage you to contact us for more information.
On a side note, please remember and remind your family, friends, and neighbors to avoid texting while driving at all costs. Studies have shown texting while at the wheel to be more distracting and more likely to lead to a fatal accident than driving drunk. “Better left unread than dead” is the new slogan put out by Massachusetts state officials. As summer approaches, let us all help keep one another safe from harm.