WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Close to 100 people watched a documentary about addiction in Westfield, Monday night, and then discussed ways we can help people impacted by the opioid crisis.
The documentary, titled “The Anonymous People,” is about the 23-million Americans living in long-term addiction to alcohol and other drugs. The panel discussion that followed addressed how treatment is often unavailable for people who ask for it.
“If somebody called and said that they had symptoms of cancer recurring, they would be able to get a bed. People who are symptomatic from their addiction, are not able to get treatment,” said Nora Padykula, the Social Work Program Director at Westfield State University.
There were nearly 1,100 unintentional opioid deaths in Massachusetts in 2014, and at least 18 in Westfield since 2012.