SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Federal court officials in Springfield held a panel discussion on Tuesday to share ideas on managing the recent surge in opiate abuse across our state.
Governor Charlie Baker has called opiate addiction ‘the single greatest public health issue’ our commonwealth faces. We’ve also heard it called an epidemic, especially in our region, as the number of deaths continues to increase.
It’s affecting every community, and leaders from offices and departments across our state believe a combined effort is the only way to help those affected individuals and families. Congressman Richard Neal, District Court Judge Mark Mastroianni and U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz were among those who spoke on Tuesday about how to work together more effectively.
According to Chief U.S. Immigration Officer Christopher Maloney, “Law enforcement can’t solve the problem on their own, the treatment community can’t solve the problem on their own, legislators can’t, unless we all come together and respect what we all do but then share ideas on how to combat this problem.”
This is the third panel discussion on opiate usage in Massachusetts. Two others organized by the U.S. Probation & Pretrial Services Office have taken place over the past few months in Boston and Worcester.