Amid the opioid epidemic, public officials at all levels are concerned with the number of drug overdoses.
New programs on education have been set in motion and while the stigma surrounding rehab programs may be decreasing, there is still a lot of room for progress in the fight against the opioid crisis. Massachusetts, in particular, has one of the highest rates of opioid overdose deaths, with 1,913 deaths in 2017 alone and a rate that is more than double the national average.1 Because of these distressing numbers, the state has taken a new direction when it comes to fighting drug overdose deaths.
Using Drug Monitoring Centers to Prevent Overdose
Similar to the plans for safe injection sites in Philadelphia
, Massachusetts is looking into opening drug monitoring centers throughout the state, but unlike in Philadelphia, the drug monitoring centers would be for post-administration of drugs. People would be able to come to these sites after using and receive any necessary medical attention. Medical staff and trained personnel would be on-site to provide emergency medical help including treatment for infections, oxygen, and administration of naloxone, a drug used to reverse drug overdoses, if necessary. While it may be too late for people who inject large amounts of fentanyl on the streets and experience immediate symptoms, these drug monitoring centers could be life-saving for several other drug users, including those who overdose on drugs outside of opioids.
The hope is that these drug monitoring centers in Massachusetts would not only help reduce the number of drug overdoses in the state, but also convince people who almost overdose to get professional help at a Massachusetts drug rehab
. Along with offering emergency medical attention, the staff would provide addiction counseling and try to connect these patients with treatment resources in their area. The patients would also be able to remain anonymous, making the facility a more welcoming environment. For now, plans include opening three to five Massachusetts drug monitoring centers throughout the state.
Drug overdoses are sad and scary, but these new developments could be part of the solution to this problem. As providers of outpatient addiction treatment in Boston
, we have seen the effects of the opioid crisis and drug overdoses firsthand from our patients and their loved ones. It is important to get help before an overdose occurs. If you or someone you love is suffering from a drug or alcohol addiction, do not wait any longer.
Call Banyan Massachusetts today at 888-280-4763 to get started.
- NIH - Massachusetts Opioid Summary