The still-new emphasis on treatment over prosecution for those addicted to heroin, oxycodone and similar drugs is doing much to lift the stigma of opioid addiction, and for that we should be thankful. Battling the epidemic is a shared responsibility, one that can’t be adequately addressed un…

Congress has helped Massachusetts and the nation take another step forward in the battle against prescription drug abuse. The Comprehensive Recovery and Addiction Act (CARA), a bipartisan effort incorporating several pieces of legislation targeted at opioid abuse, has been passed overwhelmin…

One particularly memorable ad from the “Just Say No” era of the “War on Drugs” of the late 1980s and early 1990s starred Carroll O’Connor, the actor made famous by his role as Archie Bunker in “All in the Family.”

At a forum for presidential candidates on addictions in New Hampshire, Carly Fiorina recounted the struggle she faced in finding out which doctors her adult daughter with addiction was seeing. Fiorina noted desperately calling numerous professionals only to be rebuffed. When she finally foun…

International Overdose Awareness Day was last month. I’ve wanted to write about the opioid crisis, especially since our new governor has made it a priority, but have very little awareness of the subject except for what I read in the newspapers. I know I’ve used some opiates after surgery, at…

Fentanyl can kill an opiate addict just as easily as heroin. Yet trafficking in the powerful synthetic drug — more than 50 times more powerful than heroin — is not illegal in Massachusetts, and the gap in enforcement has exacerbated the death and suffering wrought by the current epidemic.

St. Teresa of Avila reverently wrote these words: “Christ has no body by yours; no hand, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which his compassion looks out upon the world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.” In Lawrence there are folks who embody this idea …

She seemed paranoid, agitated and unable to look me in the eyes. She was young, 18, 19 maybe, addicted. The hair disheveled, with a sandwich half eaten in her left hand, taking bites of it, her right hand wiping her face intermittently with the back of it or pushing her glasses toward her fa…

For those whose primary view of life comes from television and movies, heroin and opiate addiction happen somewhere else. The world of the fictional heroin junkie is a squalid one, populated by the dregs of society lurking in dark alleys, desperately seeking their next high.

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Ten years ago, the pages of this paper were filled with stories of families held hostage to opiate addiction. Young men and women barely out of high school found themselves in jail, their promising lives derailed by heroin and OxyContin. Children wept for parents lost to overdose. Parents in…

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The scourge of opiate and alcohol addiction is destroying lives, families and futures for far too many of our neighbors. Governor Charlie Baker, Attorney General Maura Healey and mayors across this state have called the epidemic of overdoses and deaths the number one health problem in Massac…

There’s a heroin and opiate epidemic in Essex County and Southern New Hampshire. Solving it won’t be easy. It will take a concerted effort among political leaders, law enforcement, the medical profession and the community at large.

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Last week’s column described the drug-saturated life of an addict who started inhaling glue vapors regularly at the age of 13 and rapidly moved on to marijuana, cocaine, crack and heroin. He managed only a few short intervals of sobriety over the course of 48 years.

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Across Massachusetts, lives are being wasted. State police have recorded nearly 200 deaths from drug overdoses since November, but the actual number could be even higher, as figures from the largest three cities — Boston, Worcester, and Springfield — are not included in the totals.

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Last week, I sat in on two support-group meetings conducted by Learn To Cope, an organization dedicated to providing information and guidance to the parents and family members of children addicted to opiates and other drugs.

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The Salem fire and police departments will soon be wielding a powerful weapon in the fight against the heroin epidemic washing over New England. Starting next month, all of the city’s first responders will carry a nasal spray containing naloxone, which can counter the effects of a heroin ove…

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For years, Massachusetts has struggled with the growing problem of substance abuse. Illicit drugs such as heroin and painkillers have brought devastation to our families, communities and individual lives. It is time that we put an end to the spread of substance abuse, and it starts by how we…

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