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FRAMINGHAM Framingham FORCE will host a short ceremony at the Framingham Centre Common Wednesday, August 31 at 6 p.m. to mark International Opioid Awareness Day, said co-founder Cathy Miles.

Miles said Mayor Charlie Sisitsky, State Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis, and others are expected to attend. The public is invited to attend.

Earlier this month volunteers from Framingham FORCE and the Anchored in Recovery program downtown placed more than 2,000 purple flags on the Framingham Centre Common to remember the almost 2,300 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.

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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.

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.

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

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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.