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Opioid Epidemic & Mental Health Issue

 Opioid Epidemic:

On March 25, 2018, the Lowell Police Department reported that four people died of fatal overdose. The opioid epidemic is not unique to Lowell, but is part of a national crisis as well.  By some estimates, more people are now dying in America from opioid overdose than shootings or car accidents. Sadly, Lowell is a hotspot of opioid addiction and death by overdose.

Mental health is also a silent crisis:

Especially hitting hard in the immigrant communities within the 18th Middlesex District and the City of Lowell. Many of these immigrants are experiencing nightmares and trauma from conflicts in the countries which they came from.  When left untreated, these mental health issues have a negative impact on the quality of life of the people, our city and cost the City and the Commonwealth enormously.

My Proposals:

Accountability – Opioid Epidemics: Hold drug dealers, drug pushers and manufactures accountable for their actions with stronger and severe punishment. Increase and improve cooperation between federal and state law enforcement to interdict and arrest drug dealers. Hold doctors and manufactures responsible to protect the public health and safety. The opioid epidemic is a serious health and public safety issue that cuts across social and economic lines. To abate this epidemic, we need a robust integrated education, treatment and support centers for the addicts across our Commonwealth. Fentanyl, a fast-acting narcotic analgesic and sedative that is sometimes abused for its heroin-like effect, is now responsible for 83%, according to Massachusetts Department of Public Health, of the overdose deaths in Massachusetts. A new legislation is needed to make a Fentanyl a Class A Substance.

Identification, Engagement and Treatment of mental health issue: We need to use existing funding sources wisely and efficiently by redirecting it to community based organizations that specialize in serving the target population with culturally as well as linguistically sensitive approaches to drawing those in need to enroll with and use mental health care services.

Like the opioid epidemic, we also need a robust integrated education, treatment and support facilities for the patients across our Commonwealth for that experiencing mental health emergency who are likely to harm themselves and/or others can seek and get immediate help. Some of the mass shootings in America can be attributed to undiagnosed and untreated mental health issue.

Committee to Elect SAM MEAS
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