FRAMINGHAM – The 11-member Framingham City Council unanimously adopted a resolution on the opioid crisis, identifying ways the City of Framingham can be a leader in addressing this problem.
“Earlier this year, the Mayor joined a lawsuit against the drug companies to seek mitigation for our costs in fighting the opioid crisis. This action was just another reminder of the difficult problem this issue is for our society and right here in Framingham. Although I know we have some good programs and initiatives in place, it seems that we have not raised the awareness to the level we can to fight this as a community,” said Councilor George King in proposing the resolution to the Council.
“In recognition of the fact that September is National Recovery Month for people suffering from mental illness and October is National Substance Abuse Prevention month, I would like the Council to consider issuing a resolution that states our concerns regarding this issue.”
The ressolution, proposed by King, and adopted by the Council is below.
WHEREAS, the opioid epidemic is impacting our nation’s citizens, with an estimated 64,000 people losing their lives to overdoses each year; and
WHEREAS, communities including Framingham are overwhelmed by the opioid misuse epidemic and are struggling to respond meaningfully to the challenge; and
WHEREAS, we believe that substance use disorder must be seen as a chronic and debilitating illness, rather than a criminal act, opening the door for treatment and recovery; and
WHEREAS, the Framingham has already acknowledged this is a major problem for our community by the Mayor joining in legal action to obtain compensation and mitigation for the City and the victims of this epidemic,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Framingham City Council supports and encourages all City agencies, especially the School Department, the Police Department, the Fire Department, the Health Department and the Mayor’s office to continue to pursue ongoing efforts to assist those impacted by this public health emergency, by considering and implementing some or all of the following educational and assistance measures including:
- Raise awareness of the crisis by holding a public demonstration such as the purple flag demonstration or hosting the opioid art project or any other well- conceived public event.
- Increase training in the administration of Narcan beyond first responders to include school nurses, coaches and local businesses.
- Work with Metrowest Medical Center to obtain licensing for the hospital to administer suboxone for victims of opioid overdoses.
- Look to develop economic incentives for local business who hire people in recovery from this disease.
- Consider advocating for bail reform to allow treatment instead of punishment.
- Encourage residents to take the “Stop the Stigma” pledge.
- Create a task force of stakeholders to consider and implement these and other initiatives so Framingham can be a leader in this important effort.