The communities of Malden, Medford, Melrose, Stoneham, Wakefield and Reading applied as a group and were awarded $100,000 per year for three years, with the possibility of extending the grant to seven years, according to a press statement. Medford will serve as the lead community, adds the statement.
In an email to Patch, Jennifer Kelly, coordinator for the Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition in Melrose, said, "The funds will be used for all (six) communities to do work regionally — the money is not split between the communities."
What is the Purpose of the Opioid Grant?
According to the statement, the grant has three goals:
- Reduce the number of overdoses
- Improve the management of overdoses when they do occur
- Reduce the amount of misused, abused, and diverted prescription opioids
To achieve the goals, the communities will use six strategies, according to the statement, including:
- Provide free educational materials on overdose prevention to the public, focusing on users and their families as well as treatment providers
- Increase community-based prevention programs using scientifically proven strategies to reduce risk factors
- Give drug users increased access to evidence-based treatment services
- Provide substance abuse treatment providers with information about overdose prevention that they can integrate into their work with clients
- Maintain and expand a pilot program that provides the anti-overdose drug naloxone to friends and family of opioid users
- Implement and expand emergency department intervention and referral to treatment services