News Article Details

HEALTH Bristol County gets $45K to fight opioid addiction

The Chronicle - 5/17/2017

NEW BEDFORD - Bristol County will receive $45,000 in grants as part of $700,000 issued recently by state Attorney General Maura Healey as an initiative to prevent opioid addiction.

New Bedford received a $20,000 grant after applying for a program that would partner the police department with its public school system, the attorney general's office said. Specifically, nearly half the money sent to Bristol County would go to implement Project Alert for students in the fourth, fifth and sixth grades at city schools.

"We are pleased to be a partner with the New Bedford Police Department in educating students in our community to prevent opiate abuse," Director of Supplemental Services for New Bedford Public Schools Jennifer Ferland said in a statement.

The Bristol County District Attorney's Office will also receive $10,000 after applying for the grant to expand and continue its True Stories series. True Stories is a prevention discussion and DVD series for students throughout Bristol County.

The funding will also help train an additional 15 to 20 people to help implement and sustain the program. Finally, the DA's office envisioned using the funds to host their Annual Teen Safety Summit when they reached out to the attorney general's office for the grants.

"We are pleased to have been chosen as a recipient for the attorney general's youth opioid grant," April Cabrera said in a statement from the DA's office. "With these funds we will continue our Bristol County education initiative on opiates, educating youth and and the community on this life-stealing opioid epidemic."

The final $15,000 grant for Bristol County will be sent to the Norton Police Department. It applied for the grant in order to fund its substance misuse prevention program and Project Alert system, the attorney general said. Project Alert for Norton Public Schools will be for students in grades six through eight.

The attorney general received 120 applications totaling nearly $4 million in requests. In all, 41 programs received funding.

Under this grant, the programs will run through April 2019. According to the attorney general's office, the funds were created by settlements the office reached with CVS Pharmacy in September 2016 and later with Walgreens in January, totaling $700,000.

The grants hope to combat opioid overdoses that kill more than five people every day, according to the attorney general.

The attorney general also stated 90 percent of all adults struggling with addiction started using when they were under the age of 18, and 50 percent were under the age of 15.

"These grants are only a start," Healey said in a statement. "We must continue to address this unmet need."


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