To start with, last year Eastern Massachusetts posted a rate of emergency room visits involving drugs, which was higher than that of any other major metropolitan in the country...
When thinking on the topic of record drug abuse, drug related deaths, and hospitalizations, many would name New York, Chicago or the Miami area most probable for holding the record. As so many movies, newsstands, and books repute these areas for being the cocaine highways among other drugs, it comes as a surprise that Eastern Massachusetts has beat them all out.
To start with, last year the area posted a rate of emergency room visits involving drugs, which was higher than that of any other major metropolitan in the country. Particularly in Worcester, lifetime heroin use was twice the state and national average; and the most gripping statistic was that of the South Shore, where researchers found that one person died of drug overdose every eight days. Other cities and regions throughout the country have experienced a growth in drug abuse, and because of that, a growth in hospitalizations and casualties. However, this rate of drug-related suffering should be considered jaw dropping, and an issue demanding immediate attention.
Compared to larger metropolitan areas, such as New York, with hundreds of thousands of people living in the major cities, it is hard to believe that Eastern Massachusetts has surpassed them, and other enormous cities in drug-related hospitalizations. This is especially true when considering hospitalizations due to heroin use, which in Eastern Massachusetts, holds the number one spot (by a land slide) of four times the amount of any other location.
The only silver lining to this storm cloud is that violent crimes like rape, murder, and aggravated assault, is on the decline by 8.5%. This small victory however, has not stopped the appalling drug rate in Easter Massachusetts from being detailed at the State House. It was and still is a number one priority to minimize the flow of drugs in the area, in addition to treating those who suffer from addiction. A trend indicated that there exists an increased disparity between the rich and the poor concerning health care, and essentially, the level of care and help available to those who suffer from drug addiction.
The State has been searching for ways to strengthen the health care system”and not only for the Eastern end of Massachusetts, but for the entire state. One proposal included a slightly higher sales tax on alcohol and similar legal substances. The $100 million raised by this tax in just one year was suggested to go towards drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs for the area. However, this appeal was shot down by small businesses and consumer groups.
Another step the State has taken was a bill that Gov. Deval Patrick pushed for: aimed to strengthen the monitoring of prescription pills and in effect, gain better control of the population of those addicted to painkillers.
Since 2011, when high drug tolls were found in Eastern Massachusetts, much attention has been drawn to the area and the steps that should be taken to combat the rising tide of drug related deaths and hospitalizations. However, there is one aspect more powerful than anything the government agencies can expect. This would be the strength of the community, that is watchful for these illicit drugs and their abuse; helpful communities that lend a hand to their neighbor and family members as well, to help bring an end to the spread of addiction in our country.
Reach out to us. At A Center for Addiction Recovery, our licensed therapists and certified counselors are dedicated to help you or your loved one recover from drug or alcohol addiction. Our premier substance abuse treatment center provides unique programs to help patients recognize the origin of the problem that caused them to self-medicate. Learning how to deal with these problems results in facing situations, instead of avoiding them; this also reduces the chances of relapsing. For more information on receiving drug or alcohol addiction treatment, you may contact us for free consultation at:
Center for Addiction Recovery “ Addiction Treatment Center: 1-800-570-4562
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