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FRAMINGHAM – Individuals from Framingham FORCE and the Anchored in Recovery program downtown last Wednesday, August 17, placed more than 2,000 purple flags on the Framingham Centre Common to remember the more than 2,000 individuals lost to opioids in the Commonwealth.

In 2020, more than 2,000 people in Massachusetts died from an opioid overdose – more than ever before. The pandemic did not help the situation.

Massachusetts is suffering from an exponential increase in opioid-related overdoses, overdose deaths, and people seeking substance use treatment, due to the use of prescription opioids, fentanyl, and heroin.

It is estimated 2,290 individuals lost their lives in 2021.

The Anchored in Recovery is a ‘recovery-oriented sanctuary’ anchored in the heart of downtown Framingham, where peer-to-peer recovery support services rely on a volunteer/member base to deliver services that are responsive to the recovery community needs assessment. It is part of the South Middlesex Opportunity Council.

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Framingham FORCE is a group of local Framingham advocates and community members focused on increasing awareness, education and compassion surrounding the opioid epidemic.

FORCE has placed the flags on the Framingham Centre Common for the last 4 years.

Tuesday, August 31, 2021 is International Opioid Overdose Awareness Day.

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According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the 2021 opioid-related overdose death rate (32.6 per 100,000 people) is 6.2% higher than in 2016 (30.7 per 100,000 people) and is an 9% increase over 2020 (29.9 per 100,000 people) this difference is statistically significant.

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.