Local resources available for drug addicted teens

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Getting young people the help they need to get clean. Opioid addiction is a public health crisis. Knowing where to turn for resources is important.

“In my case, thankfully I’ve learned to get away from certain things,” explained Donovan Bartish of Easthampton.

But do you know how to help yourself?

“Knowing what your options are can make a big difference,” said Eva Meier of Montague.

Options like Hampshire Hope. A community coalition that guides addicts through every step of the addiction process from treatment to recovery. Cherry Sullivan is the Program Coordinator. She told 22News limiting access to prescription pills is key.

“So that means they are using a lock box or a locked medicine cabinet to store their medication, that they are counting their pills to make sure none are missing and that they are then disposing of their medication at a local drug takeback box,” explained Sullivan.

October 28th is National Drug Take Back day. It’s good time to clean out the medicine cabinet and bring your pills down to your police department.

In Northampton, Tapestry Health runs a needle exchange program. They’re trying to reduce the stigma associated with drug abuse and reduce the spread of disease from dirty needle by providing users with clean ones.

People told 22News progress is being made to eliminate the shame and stigma associated with addiction.

“Now at least it’s treated like a disease so if you can get the help at least you are not labeled as a total loss to society,” said Donovan Bartish of Easthampton.

On Monday, Hampshire Hope has a coalition meeting on youth substance abuse in Hadley. They told 22News that between 2015 to 2017 the number of young people who abuse prescription drugs is down.