Both the Boston City Council and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone are considering sites like one used in Toronto, where medical teams supervise drug use. Federal prosecutors sued Philadelphia to block the opening of a site there in February. News on substance abuse looks at Naloxone’s role in saving lives in Minnesota; meth makes inroads in Massachusetts and opioids go missing in a Florida hospital, as well.
A week after tensions over open drug use and disorderly conduct boiled over in a South End neighborhood, city councilors revisited the potential for safe injections sites in Boston, even as many municipal and state officials remain skeptical of the idea. Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George, chair of the council’s committee on homelessness, mental health, and recovery, said she plans to tour an injection site in Toronto in two weeks while researching the type of recovery services that city offers. (Valencia, 8/13)
Despite opposition from federal prosecutors, the mayor of Somerville is pledging to open a clinic next year where doctors and nurses would monitor illegal drug use and could reverse an overdose. Joseph Curtatone says a supervised consumption site (SCS) in his city will save lives during the opioid crisis. (Oakes and Bebinger, 8/14)
The opioid epidemic has claimed thousands of lives across Minnesota over the last two decades, but there are some signs the situation may be improving. The number of prescriptions for a drug that can reverse opioid overdoses rose dramatically last year. Some see the increased availability of the drug naloxone as a sign that prescribers are changing their practices, and that stigma around the anti-overdose medicine may be lessening. (Collins, 8/13)
Methamphetamine, an illegal drug that has long plagued the West and Midwest, has finally taken hold in Massachusetts, posing a daunting new challenge to a state still grappling with the opioid crisis. Meth caught the public eye last week when it was blamed for aggressive behavior by street drug users in the South End. (Freyer, 8/13)
Missing opioids, such as fentanyl, led to a Fort Lauderdale registered nurse being adjudged unsafe to practice nursing. Before Michelle Bungo got hit with an emergency restriction order (ERO) by the Florida Department of Health Aug. 5, the ERO says, she was fired by Holy Cross Hospital for violating its controlled substances handling policy. (Neal, 8/13)
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