Copyright NEADCP 2018


June 27, 2018

MANCHESTER -- Poised, articulate and meticulously dressed, Jessica Caron was the picture of success.

But just 18 months ago, “I was addicted to heroin, living in my car.”

Caron is one of five people who graduated Tuesday from drug court at Hillsborough County (North) Superior Court. City leaders, providers, relatives and friends packed a courtroom to hear their stories and hail their achievements.

Gov. Hassan to sign bill Tuesday establishing drug courts statewide

June 13, 2016

MANCHESTER, N.H. —Another piece has been added to the puzzle to curb New Hampshire’s drug crisis: Drug courts are about to go statewide.

Summit draws 'bipartisan' support in fight against opioids


MANCHESTER — At least one encouraging sign was clear from the start of a day-long summit on the opioid epidemic in New Hampshire. More than 800 people representing a wide range of fronts battling the health crisis packed in a large banquet room on Tuesday for the Governor’s Summit on Substance Misuse. Treatment and recovery specialists, law enforcement agencies and experts on addiction and ways to prevent it were among the groups taking part in the summit.

The public scorns the addiction treatment Prince was going to try. They shouldn’t.


Prince’s greatest music hit the radio while I was going off the rails during my own opioid and cocaine addiction. The young man who gave me my first injection was a massive fan and played “Kiss” for me around the same time he introduced me to the needle. I was soon hooked on both Prince and injecting.

That’s why it hit me especially hard when I learned that this musical genius’ overdose death occurred a day before he was due to start treatment. This tragedy makes clear that what likely killed him, and is killing so many others, is not just addiction itself, but the stigma we attach to it and, even worse, to the most effective treatment for it.

Bangor city leaders developing plan for adult drug court


BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A group of city leaders in Bangor is working on bringing the city's adult drug court back for the first time in four years.

Drug courts are different from regular courts. A judge meets regularly with an addict who normally would be charged with a crime and sent to jail but instead has to follow a mandated treatment plan.

Opioid Prescribing Gets Another Look as F.D.A. Revisits Mandatory Doctor Training


A pain management specialist, Dr. Nathaniel Katz, was stunned in 2012 when the Food and Drug Administration rejected a recommendation from an expert panel that had urged mandatory training for doctors who prescribed powerful painkillers like OxyContin.

Gloucester police chief honored by White House for helping addicts instead of arresting them


Almost a year ago, Chief Leonard Campanello published a Facebook post that has led to more than 400 addicts getting treatment.


Less than a year after announcing on Facebook that he would offer heroin addicts help instead of handcuffs, Gloucester Police Chief Leonard Campanello is being honored by the White House for that revolutionary change of thinking.

Participants in Massachusetts' drug courts are overwhelmingly white


BOSTON — Walk the streets around Dorchester District Court, in a heavily minority neighborhood of Boston, and most faces are black.

Yet on a recent Thursday afternoon in drug court, Judge Serge Georges dispensed his weekly dose of encouragement and gentle criticism to two white men during their regular check-ins.

Lawmakers debate cost effectiveness of drug courts


CONCORD — Several House budget writers Tuesday questioned where drug courts provide the biggest “bang for the buck” in the fight against opioid addiction.

The House Finance Committee is reviewing Senate Bill 464, which provides about $3 million to expand drug courts throughout the state.

House Finance Committee Chairman Neal Kurk, R-Weare, noted that drug courts do not provide the greatest return on spending compared to non-correctional treatment programs.

Hingham's new drug court another path to sobriety



Already home to various community coalitions and recovery networks, Plymouth County will soon have another way to help people struggling with substance abuse.

A drug court is set to open in Hingham District Court this spring, once a chief probation officer is appointed.

Lowell Drug Court turning lives around


LOWELL -- Two years ago, Kailene McInnis was crying when she got off the phone with her grandmother to let her know she was in the state correctional facility in Framingham.

She faced a choice -- do jail time or go to Drug Court.

Drug courts uncertain in Merrimack County


As lawmakers consider a proposal to fund drug courts across New Hampshire, one of the state’s most populous counties, Merrimack, still has yet to commit to the program – though preparations are under way here just the same.

Superior Court Chief Justice Tina Nadeau said a federal training grant was approved in December, and that Judge Diane Nicolosi of Merrimack County Superior Court has begun meeting with attorneys and other potential county stakeholders.

We must change the way we think about drug addiction in Maryland


I’ve been an emergency room physician for more than 30 years. Every shift, I see broken legs, lacerations, cases of pneumonia and more. On the surface, none appears related to the rising rates of drug addiction and crime plaguing our society. But they are.

BU: The Addiction Puzzle


Drug or alcohol addiction affects nearly 23 million Americans and costs the United States an estimated $428 billion each year. Modern science has dispelled many misconceptions about the disease and scientists are working hard to find effective treatments. At Boston University, more than 100 researchers have been awarded over $130 million in addiction-related research and services grants since 2006, and faculty currently direct over 50 funded addiction-related research projects.

Data show opioids’ deadly toll


People 25 to 44 years old are hardest hit by the opioid overdose epidemic that has left thousands dead in Massachusetts, according to new data from the state Department of Public Health.

On Wednesday, the state released for the first time a demographic portrait of the still-growing health crisis, and that report found certain groups bear a disproportionate burden.

How to Fix Drug Courts


Again and again on the campaign trail, the presidential candidates have been faced by America's rising concern about addiction, particularly to opioid painkillers and heroin. And from Hillary Clinton to Chris Christie, the politicians have responded by pledging their support for drug courts.

This bipartisan reaction is correct, in principle: Drug courts, which now exist in every state, can motivate people to overcome their substance-abuse problems more effectively than punishment can. But to make the courts work in practice, states need to see that they’re adequately funded and properly run.

GOP Candidates Call for End to Stigma Around Drug Addiction


  • 8 Republican presidential hopefuls called for a more compassionate discussion around drug addiction Tuesday, with emphasis on substance abuse as a curable disease, not a moral failing.

Jeb Bush’s drug control proposal calls for ‘dedicated parents,’ better access to drug courts


Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush is proposing a broad drug control policy that includes better access to drug courts, better parenting and tougher security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Drug Court: Making a difference


  Billy Bennett wasn’t really sold on the value of a program that would redirect drug-related offenders from jail into rehabilitation. After eight years of seeing dramatic changes in many lives, the 12th Judicial District judge is a believer.

Nixa lawmaker wants to add criminal penalties for drug use during pregnancy


Mothers who use narcotics or other controlled substances during their pregnancies would face criminal penalties under a bill proposed by Rep. Jered Taylor, R-Nixa.

Under the proposed bill, it would be a misdemeanor to use drugs while pregnant, and if a child died as a result of the drug use, the mother could face a felony charge, according to the bill's language. Taylor pre-filed the bill last month for the 2016 legislative session that begins Wednesday.

Rodger McDaniel column: Drug courts work, but Mead couldn't care less


The word "innovative" doesn't jump to mind when you say "Wyoming."

Now Gov. Matt Mead has decided to undo the state's drug court program, one of the few innovative achievements of the last two decades.

Middlesex County tops 2015 overdose list, excluding major cities


According to data released in the final hours of 2015, Massachusetts State Police investigated more fatal suspected heroin overdoses in Middlesex County than any other in the state, excluding major cities.

Letter: Olmsted County drug court is better option than prison time


Americans overwhelmingly agree the war on drugs has been a failure. The Federal Criminal Justice System acknowledges that most drug-crime punishment is neither equitable nor a deterrent, and that prison time is rarely rehabilitative. As a result, drug crime sentencing and alternative justice are being examined in Minnesota and elsewhere.

HBO heroin documentary looks at Cape Cod



Cassie and others talk about their drug addiction in HBO’s “Heroin: Cape Cod USA.”

Richard Dohoney: Berkshire County needs a drug court


PITTSFIELD >> Any questions about the severity of our drug problem in Berkshire County are sadly answered on both the front page and the obituary page of the Eagle. Headlines reporting decade-long sentences for heroin-related crimes seem daily and the "unexplained" deaths of young people are far too frequent.

Give medical residents access to drug database


As part of his campaign against opioid abuse, Governor Charlie Baker has urged doctors,
dentists, and anyone else who can prescribe drugs to use the state’s Prescription Monitoring
Program. The database, run by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, collects and
updates prescription information fed into it by Massachusetts hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies,
as well as by out-of-state mail order pharmacies that deliver to Massachusetts addresses. The
monitoring program can help physicians determine whether a patient has a history of obtaining
drugs from multiple sources — a practice known as “doctor shopping.” In an emergency room
setting, for instance, a busy doctor might have a difficult time determining whether a patient’s
pain is real or concocted — addicts quickly learn to become skilled at deception.

Chelsea Drug Court Program a Success:Justice Barnes Leads End-of-the- Year Meeting


According to the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, 75 percent of Drug Court
graduates remain arrest-free for at least two years after leaving the program.
That’s a very good success rate and Tuesday’s special program led by Justice Benjamin Barnes
affirmed that the Chelsea Drug Court is working well and producing good results.

Boston University School of Medicine develops curriculum to combat opioid abuse


Boston University School of Medicine announced Monday that its curriculum on opioids has
been expanded in response to Governor Charlie Baker’s efforts to combat opioid addiction.
The medical students are now being trained in addiction prevention, screening, and treatment.

Gov. Baker Hosts Screening Of HBO Film Set On Cape Cod About Nation’s Opioid Crisis


BOSTON Cape Cod is the setting of a new documentary about the nation’s growing opioid
problem that airs on HBO later this month.
And as he campaigns for new measures to deal with the state’s opioid epidemic, Gov. Charlie
Baker invited lawmakers and others involved in the issue to an early screening Tuesday night.

EDITORIAL: Lake County’s growing drug problem


We were disheartened, but frankly not surprised, by the story last week that revealed a growing
problem in Lake County for drug-related crime.
Talking to those who live in the area had already convinced us that resident safety had greatly
diminished as drug use had increased, but seeing the cold, hard numbers really drove the point

‘Status Quo Is Unacceptable,’ Baker Says As He Testifies On His Opioid Bill


BOSTON As the state’s opioid epidemic shows no signs of slowing down, a Beacon Hill panel
listened Monday to hours of testimony on Gov. Charlie Baker’s bill seeking to stem the scourge.
Baker acknowledged his proposal disrupts the status quo.

Baker to use HBO opioid documentary to lobby for legislation


Governor Charlie Baker, alarmed by the state’s rate of four opioid-related deaths per day, plans
to use a new film about the epidemic’s devastation on Cape Cod to lobby lawmakers mulling his
bill aimed at mitigating the problem.

Drug may give those leaving jail a better shot at recovery


Authorities turn to Vivitrol to cut rates of addiction,

Specialty courts cut costs, improve lives


  • Chief Judge Geno Salomone presides over a regional DWI/Sobriety court in Taylor.
  • Chief Judge Laura Mack presides over a regional mental health court in Wayne.

Regionalism in government is a wonderful concept that is sometimes difficult to implement. Wayne County alone has 20 separate district courts and four municipal courts, each with its own judge or judges, funding source, court administrator and probation department. Many of these courts were created in times when government in general was expanding, not shrinking as it is now.

Medical schools to bolster opioid lessons


The state’s four medical schools have agreed to incorporate into their curriculum instruction in the prevention and treatment of prescription drug misuse, as part of Governor Charlie Baker’s effort to combat opioid addiction.

New Framingham court seeks to keep veterans out of jail


FRAMINGHAM – After their military service is done, some veterans are left with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries that might lead to drug or alcohol abuse and, in some cases, crime.

Instead of sending them to jail, the new Middlesex County Veterans Treatment Court is working to keep these men and women out of jail and get them the help they need to be productive members of society.

This could be the cure for drug crisis in America's prisons


Drug overdoses now cause more deaths than car crashes, with opioids like Oxycontin killing 44 people a day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  And treatment protocol for individuals addicted to opioids has largely been methodone, which has addictive qualities itself.

In Heroin Crisis, White Families Seek Gentler War on Drugs


NEWTON, N.H. — When Courtney Griffin was using heroin, she lied, disappeared, and stole from her parents to support her $400-a-day habit. Her family paid her debts, never filed a police report and kept her addiction secret — until she was found dead last year of an overdose.

Drugs and Politics


On the campaign trail, presidential candidates acknowledge the problem of America’s growing addiction to legal, prescription and illegal drugs, and discover the bipartisan appeal of drug

CDC Report: Massachusetts Had 2nd Highest Seizure Of Fentanyl In U.S.


BOSTON The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say 80 percent of U.S. law enforcement seizures of the drug fentanyl last year were concentrated in 10 states. One of them is Massachusetts.

Baker would give hospitals the power to hold addicts


Staring down a brutal opioid epidemic, Governor Baker wants to give hospitals authority to force treatment on substance abusers.

Treatment Is Good, Prevention Is Better: How Best To Keep Our Kids Off Drugs


A pediatrician who directs an adolescent substance abuse program and a state senator join forces in support of a bill to screen and counsel 7th and 10th graders about the dangers of drug use and abuse. (Ryan Tauss/Unsplash)RichText.

Anti-drug leaders draw on experience

Sept 10, 2015

Tom Coderre was arrested for cocaine possession in Rhode Island. Michael Botticelli, driving drunk, once crashed into a disabled truck on a Massachusetts highway. Jonathan Goyer nearly died from a heroin overdose in Pawtucket, R.I. Paolo del Vecchio struggled with mental illness and drug use starting in childhood. Eduardo Vega attempted suicide.

These five men — now bearing such titles as “executive director,” “CEO,” and even “czar” — appeared at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Thursday to announce new survey results on drug use and mental illness among Americans.

Baltimore Fights Heroin Overdoses With Antidote Outreach

Sept 9, 2015

A suspected case of measles. A rabid fox on the loose. A recall of a dye used in tattoos. A drug epidemic that's claiming hundreds of lives.

Those are just a few of the problems that Dr. Leana Wen confronts in a typical week as the Baltimore City Health Commissioner. While they all have to be dealt with, it's clear that heroin is among Wen's gravest concerns. Right now, she's focused on stopping overdoses and saving lives.

AG’s opioid proposal targets fentanyl trafficking

Aug 17, 2015

Aiming to give law enforcement officials a new weapon to battle the opioid overdose crisis that has torn through Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey on Monday proposed a law that would make trafficking in an extremely powerful narcotic a crime.

No Blame, No Shame: Treating Heroin Addiction As A Chronic Condition

Sept 9, 2015

BOSTON Ever heard of a diabetic patient who ate a large muffin before having a blood glucose test, was scolded for giving in to temptation, and then told to just say no to carbs?

How about a cardiac patient who has a worrisome stress test and is shown the door when she admits to eating a few Big Macs?

That kind of response is all too familiar for patients whose brains have been altered by heroin or other opiates.

In heroin fight, White House will push treatment

Aug 16, 2015

As heroin overdoses and deaths soar in many parts of the nation, the White House plans to announce Monday an initiative that will for the first time pair public health and law enforcement in an effort to shift the emphasis from punishment to the treatment of addicts.

Long waiting lists for drug treatment add to addicts’ desperation

July 26, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine — Shawn Cross thought heroin was making him an excellent manager at the auto parts store where he had gone from delivery guy to manager in five years. On the job, every day, every four hours, he snorted opiate pills or heroin.