Addressing the heroin crisis in WMass

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Senator Edward Markey, Congressman Richard Neal, and Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse will be among the local leaders gathering Tuesday to discuss the problem of heroin addiction here in western Massachusetts.

The officials are expected to call for more funding to provide naloxone (a medicine used to prevent deadly drug overdoses) to first responders. They will also strategies to secure more federal funding for detox programs.

State police say that there has been an increase in heroin overdose deaths across Massachusetts in recent years; a problem which they attribute to a variety of factors, including increased availability, the “cutting” of the drug with synthetic substances, and users taking heroin alongside prescription painkillers and other drugs. In western Massachusetts alone, troopers reported 33 heroin overdose deaths since November, and that is not including any overdose deaths in Springfield, which runs their own investigations.

22News will be at Friday’s announcement, and will have the latest on-air and here on WWLP.com.

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