Massachusetts has seen an unprecedented number of opiate and heroin overdoses over the past 10 years. Over 1,000 people died in 2014. It has spread throughout the entire state, from Greenfield to Boston to Haverhill, regardless of demographic. As a result, there is a demand for action on all fronts, citing a lack of treatment beds, peer and psychiatric support groups and in-school, preventative programs. Organizations have been created to help those deal with the loss of loved ones and others to help those suffering with addiction get help. The epidemic is growing and evolving, heroin is becoming more deadly. Most say it will get worse before it gets better. In the spring of 2014, Gov. Deval Patrick declared the opioid problem a public health emergency and allocated $10 million towards new programs and facilities. New Governor Charlie Baker, has created a working group comprised of health experts and state officials to devise a course of action. The state is fighting to keep up.
Matt Ganem’s job is to find beds for those seeking help with addiction, yet most times there aren’t any available.