New data revealed a significant decline in opioid deaths in Franklin County

Opioid deaths dropped 60 percent in Franklin County from 2016 to 2017

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)- Fewer people are dying from opioid use in Franklin County.

A new state report showed opioid deaths dropped 60 percent in Franklin County from 2016 to 2017. The Sheriff’s Office has taken an increasingly aggressive approach against opioids over the past several years.

“We’ve attacked this from the criminal justice side, the social service side, the education side, so really getting the word out educating people and working very hard at treatment and detoxification,” said Franklin County Sheriff, Christopher Donelan.

Sheriff Donelan said the Franklin Recovery Center on Federal Street has been monumental in fighting the opioid epidemic. It’s been open for about a year and a half now and has 64 treatment beds to help people struggling from opioid addiction. Greenfield’s Opioid Task Force has been working to get more people in treatment and finding housing for them.

“We are finding that people who go through the treatment process and go back in the community they don’t have sober housing, and that’s a crucial component of retaining their recovery,” said Debra McLaughlin, Coordinator of the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County & the North Quabbin.

McLaughlin told 22News Franklin County has many resources, including recovery and support centers, that help people struggling with drug abuse. She said the peer-led “North Quabbin Recovery Center” will open in Athol later this spring.