Town of Arlington
Department of Health and Human Services
Christine Bongiorno, Director
27 Maple St.
Arlington, MA 02476
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 5, 2016
Media Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
District Attorney Marian Ryan Discusses Opioid Crisis at Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition
ARLINGTON — Director Karen Koretsky is pleased to announce that the Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan attended an Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition meeting to speak about the trends in the fatal opioid overdoses that occurred in Middlesex County in 2017.
The Arlington Youth Health and Safety Coalition is a group committed to preventing and reducing substance use among Arlington youth.
District Attorney Ryan spoke to members about the opioid epidemic’s impact on Arlington and across the county since 2012, noting that 2017 was the first time the death rate in Middlesex County has dropped since the epidemic began.
She also shared with AYHSC members information about Project C.A.R.E., which provides immediate services to children who experience opioid-related trauma, and the SMART Choices Program that encourages youth to make healthy decisions.
“AYHSC is proud of our proactive culture of prevention, our outreach and education in Arlington. We are truly honored to have been be selected by District Attorney Ryan as an audience for her presentation,” Koretsky said. “The District Attorney’s multi-pronged response to the opioid crisis in Massachusetts, including project C.A.R.E. and the SMART Choices Program were especially inspiring.”
The most common profile of a fatal overdose victim in Middlesex County is a male in his mid-thirties who uses at home while a family member is present in the house. Given this common profile, it is important for family members to remain vigilant at all times, even within the home setting.
At the conclusion of the presentation, District Attorney Ryan discussed the importance of recognizing risk factors and certain signs of substance abuse. Educating family members about important risk factors, such as recent release from incarceration, recent trauma and signs like snoring or gargling that can help identify someone may be suffering from an overdose. If substance misuse is suspected, keeping Narcan at home can help save lives.
“This is an engaging and empowering DA who clearly is heavily invested in helping overcome the opioid crisis, by funding/organizing such practical and effective full-circle programs, from infants through youth, adults and seniors alike,” said parent and AYHSC member Sarah Augood.