SALEM — In support of Massachusetts Opioid Screening and Awareness Day, North Shore Medical Center is looking to be a part of saving lives affected by the epidemic. 

On Tuesday, Sept. 22, NSMC's Salem Hospital will join a virtual town hall discussion in which a host of experts will talk about opioid misuse and treatment. Participants will also have the opportunity to take a free, anonymous, online screening for themselves or a loved one. 

"Opioid use disorders persist in our communities and isolation many have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic has not helped," said Natasha David-Hays, a licensed social worker and clinical director of substance use services at North Shore Medical Center. "We know that people are struggling, but also that addiction disorders are treatable and we're here to help."

Referral information about local treatment resources, including those at NSMC and the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline (800-327-5050) will be provided at the event. Screening and resources are also available at opioidscreening.org.

NSMC was the first hospital to sign on in support of the Massachusetts Opioid Screening and Awareness Day — a collaboration between Fighting Opioid Misuse and Brigham B-Core Program to "decrease the stigma surrounding opioid use disorders and help individuals recognize that there are resources available in their community to treat this debilitating illness," according to a news release. 

The opioid epidemic continues to wreak havoc while the nation is dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, said a NSMC release. 

According to NSMC, an estimated 275,000 people in Massachusetts struggle with an opioid use disorder, but only about 10% of them are being treated. 

Those interested in attending should visit https://home.mcleanhospital.org/opioid-screening. A recording of the town hall discussion will be accessible afterward. 

Taylor Ann Bradford can be reached at 978-675-2705 or tbradford@gloucestertimes.com.

IF YOU WATCH

What: Massachusetts Opioid Screening and Awareness Day, A Virtual Event: Town Hall, Online Screening & Referral

When: Tuesday, Sept. 22, 9 to 11 a.m.

Log on: https://home.mcleanhospital.org/opioid-screening?hsCtaTracking=5c825a78-e0ce-4bdb-b1fe-de960813f3a3%7C94ede34a-17bd-4c6b-b83b-647fd29c63c1#register

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