With the law enforcement officials reporting major increases in heroin-related emergency calls and overdoses here in Eastie and statewide, we are encouraging the community to attend a very important meeting being hosted by State Senator Anthony Petruccelli, with the support of City Councilor Sal LaMattina, State Representative Adrian Madaro and the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.
This community-wide awareness event on Tuesday, June 16 from 5:30-8 p.m. at East Boston High School will address the opioid problem here in Eastie.
The scourge of heroin addiction has hit home over the past two years with a rash of deaths and overdoses in Eastie and across the region according to Boston Police. The recent deaths showed the neighborhood is not immune to the growing epidemic and the drug has seemed to become more dangerous due to its purity than in recent years.
Keynote speaker Dr. Peter Smith of the EBNHC will talk about addiction and its causes. Parents, teens and children can learn how to identify the signs that a loved one might be using drugs and explore treatment options. Dr, Smith will also talk about the Health Center’s new community-based coalition model that will work with many sectors including local government, residents, schools, health care providers, police, youth centers, faith-based organizations, businesses and many others who have already been meeting.
There will be stories by people recovering from addiction like local business owner Joe Ruggiero III and East Boston Drug Court Advocate Debbie Hanscom.
“The timing is right for all of us to work together,” said Petruccelli. “Everyone in this neighborhood has been touched in some way or another by substance abuse, whether it is a friend, a family member or a neighbor. This will bring stakeholders from all sectors of the community together to have a dialogue on how to best address the problems.”