NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The opioid crisis is something local communities are dealing with on a daily basis. That is why lawmakers and local officials gathered in Northampton Monday to discuss what more can be done. They met with first responders, who spoke about their experiences dealing with the crisis.
“We’ve put a lot of tools in place, they’re starting to play out and make a difference. That said, an awful lot of people are still dying as a result of overdoses, and these are the people on the front lines and we’re going to be listening to them about what they think we can do to make things better in this situation,” Senate President Stanley Rosenberg (D-Amherst) said.
Rosenberg spoke Monday about the restrictions lawmakers have put in place controlling the amount of opioids a patient can receive, but he said more need to be done for treatment.
While a lot has been done to fight the opioid crisis local officials recognize that a lot more needs to be done to continue fighting this crisis. They say one the most important things is recognizing that the crisis is continuously changing.
“We do not have this problem under control,” said Dr. Ken Duckworth, Director of Behavioral Health for Blue Cross-Blue Shield. “We’ve done some good things as a community to improve the problem but the problem keeps changing. New opioids are being synthesized, they’re stronger than the old ones, they cause more chances of respiratory depression and overdose deaths.”
Officials agree that it will take entire communities coming together to put a stop to this crisis.