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Governor Approves Drug Fight Funds

Joanne Peterson's joy was mixed with tears when the governor signed the state budget, giving the Stoughton-based support groups she founded for families of opiate addicts $100,000.

Just days originally, she had gone to the wakes for two local young men, both of whom overdosed on opiate.

“It is hard to use the word celebrate, especially when people are still dying,” Peterson, said. “People will continue to die until something is done.”

The unprecedented express budget signed by Deval Patrick included $100,000 to assist Learn to Cope, the support group, instruct more programs and support groups for families crossways the state.

Province Allegorical Allen McCarthy, who pressed for the resource, said the decision by the state to give Learn to Cope the money “speaks volumes to the need for those types of services.”

“It underscores the need to help the families deal with this before tragedy starts,” he said. Local lawmakers got behind McCarthy's effort to include the money in the budget.

The funding follows a four-day Enterprise report, “Wasted Youthfulness,” detailing the toll opiate dependence has taken on the region.

A scrutiny of ending certificates in 28 local communities by the cover found 74 people died of opiate-related overdoses, including opiate, between Jan. 1, 2004, and Aug. 31, 2006.

Also, OxyContin and its chief ingredient, Oxycodone, has been tied locally to at least 16 deaths during that same span.

OxyContin has also been even to an increase in heroin utilization as abusers turn to the cheaper anodyne once the dependency takes hold.


















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