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Governor Approves Drug Fight
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
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
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.