Schools in Western Massachusetts receive funding to prevent opioid addiction

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health estimates that 1,979 people died from opioid related overdoses in 2016.

[Video | Photos: Antonio Caban/SHNS]

BRAINTREE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office will distribute $700,000 in funding directly to 25 school districts, and other nonprofits and community organizations to fund two years of prevention programming to 41 grantees in Massachusetts.

Students in Agawam, Westfield, Longmeadow and Belchertown public schools will join the Franklin County Regional Council of Governments, the Collaborative for Educational Services and the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office in participating in the effort.

AG Healey’s Youth Opioid Prevention Grant Program will provide funding to support drug prevention programs directed for students at all grade levels to educate on the dangers of opioid and other substance use. Young people are particularly vulnerable to the risks of substance use. Ninety percent of all adults struggling with addiction started using when they were under the age of 18, and 50 percent were under the age of 15.

The programs under this grant will run through April 2019 and are being funded by settlements the AG’s Office reached with CVS Pharmacy in September 2016 and later with Walgreens in January, totaling $700,000. Following the announcement of the grant program, the AG’s Office received 120 applications for funding.

For a complete list of the organizations receiving grant funding click here.