The Department of Justice is awarding over $8.4 million to 12 Massachusetts programs that are working to combat the opioid crisis through prevention, treatment and enforcement.
On the first day of National Substance Abuse Prevention Month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice is awarding nearly $320 million in federal funding to help those most impacted by the deadliest drug crisis in American history. Of that, the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) is awarding $8.4 million to 12 Massachusetts programs.
“In 2017, over 2,000 Massachusetts residents died from drug overdoses,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “The opioid crisis is an unprecedented public health crisis in the United States, but we are committed to the President’s plan to end the epidemic through prevention, treatment and enforcement. With over $8 million in federal grant funding, programs in Massachusetts can expand to serve larger populations, increase services, and support those who are most impacted by this deadly epidemic. I applaud the grant recipients for their commitment to serve their communities in this way.”
Among the recipients is Plymouth County Outreach (PCO), which was awarded $496,650. PCO is an opioid prevention and recovery coalition made up of 27 municipal police departments in Plymouth County, along with the Bridgewater State University Police, District Attorney Timothy Cruz and Sheriff Joseph McDonald. PCO partners with healthcare, treatment and recovery agencies, local coalitions, faith-based organizations and hospitals to connect at-risk persons with treatment and recovery options in advance of an overdose. PCO will be honored for their work by the International Association of Chiefs of Police’s (IACP) Leadership in Community Policing Award on Oct. 9th in Orlando, Fla.
In addition, Wayside Youth and Family Support Network was awarded $481,428. Wayside’s Trauma Intervention Services will use the funding to provide counseling and advocacy to children and families who have suffered due the opioid crisis in Worcester, Norfolk and Middlesex counties.
Other recipients of federal grant funding in Massachusetts include:
The Middle District Attorney’s Office awarded one grant of $360,000 and one of $500,000;
Boston Police Department awarded $305,362;
City of Holyoke Police Department awarded $448,025;
Massachusetts Administrative Office of the Trial Court awarded $1.5 million;
Advocates for Human Potential awarded $1.55 million;
City of Worcester awarded $$744,668;
Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office awarded $541,300;
Franklin County Sheriff’s Office awarded $1,000,999; and
LUK Crisis Center awarded $500,000.
The complete list of grant funding is available here.
October marks two important anti-drug events: Red Ribbon Week and National Prescription Drug Takeback Day. Red Ribbon Week (link is external) takes place every year between October 23-31 and encourages students, parents, schools, and communities to promote drug-free lifestyles. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on October 27 provides a safe, convenient and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also preventing drug addiction and overdose deaths. DOJ expanded on DEA’s Drug Takeback Days and collected more than 2.7 million pounds of expired or unused prescription drugs since April 2017.