HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Holyoke Board of Health voted unanimously on Thursday to allow Tapestry Health to continue the Syringe Access Program in the city.
According to a news release from Tapestry, the program has been open since 2012, and over the past four years, about 4,500 people have been helped.
The program is meant to help prevent addicts from:
- Contracting or spreading infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis C
- Prevent accidental overdose deaths
- Access medical care and recovery services
Tapestry stated that they have been fighting for four years to keep the syringe program running, despite legal action by several Holyoke City Council members.
“Syringe access programs are a critical tool to help combat the opioid overdose crisis while reducing the spread of HIV and hepatitis C,” stated in the news release. “Research shows that clients who visit syringe access programs are five times more likely to access drug treatment programs.”
Cheryl Zoll, CEO of Tapestry stated “The Board of Health affirmed tonight that Holyoke cares about saving lives and protecting the health of the whole community. We’re so grateful to the board and to Mayor Morse for allowing these urgent services to continue.”
Tapestry said 2,036 people have been helped in the last year; “The naloxone distributed was utilized in 288 overdose reversals, and the agency has received over 40 reports of Narcan being used to reverse an overdose in the city so far in 2016.”
The Syringe Access Program is available at 15A Main Street in Holyoke. For more information go to tapestryhealth.org.