Middlesex DA Marian Ryan Reminds Residents of Resources Amid Uptick in Overdose Deaths

Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan is reminding those struggling with addiction, those who care about someone struggling, and members of the public about the availability of Narcan and how to access virtual support amid an uptick in overdose deaths.

In Middlesex County, between October 14, 2020, and November 16, 2020, there were17 overdose deaths, six ​of which occurred over last weekend.

Over the last month, fatal overdoses have occurred in the Middlesex County communities of Bedford, Burlington, Everett, Framingham, Lowell, Malden, Marlborough, Maynard, Medford, Somerville, Watertown, Wayland, Westford, and Woburn.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a nationwide increase in feelings of isolation and stress. Today, more than ever, community assistance is critical for individuals struggling with substance use disorders. In Middlesex County, we continue to work virtually to build a network of support and resources for those working on the frontlines and for friends and families. The news this week of a statewide uptick in overdose deaths is deeply concerning.  Although the decline in fatal overdose numbers which we have seen for the past few years continues, any cluster of overdoses signals a need to take preventive action. As we head into another weekend and the Thanksgiving holiday, we want to remind people to remain vigilant. Help is available and many organizations have found ways to continue to offer critical services virtually or while using appropriate public health protocols,” said District Attorney Ryan.

Today we are urging the community and loved ones of individuals struggling with substance use to increase their contact with people who are known to be using heroin or other controlled substances. While we know it may be difficult to make in-person visits, it is still important to stay connected through phone calls and by making virtual connections. Also, check that Narcan is readily available.

  • The statewide Helpline offers free and confidential services at 800.327.5050, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Helpline is also open on all holidays.
  • Narcan is available at any pharmacy without a prescription. Learn more here.

The Middlesex District Attorney’s Office has organized and hosted virtually Opioid Task Force Meetings with health professionals, emergency department personnel, and law enforcement to share resources accessible for everyone and address an increase in anxiety disorder symptoms during the COVID-19 crisis.

To see a full list of partners and resources or view past Opioid Task Force meetings, click here.

Editor’s Note: A parents’ AlAnon group meets in Bedford on Tuesday evenings. Click this link to learn more


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