The U.S. Department of Justice recently awarded six communities across the country a substantial grant to study and prevent the opioid crisis among adolescents. One of the recipients, a western Massachusetts collective led by the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County, will receive $1 million over the next three years, supporting their efforts to document and study opioid addiction in young adults between the ages of 16 to 24 years old. The new program, called the Young Adult Empowerment Collaborative of Western Massachusetts, unites Franklin, Hampshire, Hampden, and Berkshire counties, allowing them to pool their resources and step up their efforts to understand and cope with the opioid crisis.
A Chance to Make Positive Changes
Over the next three years, the collaborative intends to assess the needs of adolescents struggling with opioid addiction and implement support systems that focus on recovery and prevention. The first year will be spent on data collection and planning for effective programming and outreach. Since the grant was awarded in mid-October, the collaborative has yet to identify specific plans for how they intend to use the money during the final two years, but general ideas include increased educational and training programs for adolescents, fostering a sense of community and support among young adults, and enacting policies and treatment options that focus on long-term recovery.
Working Towards a Brighter Future
While the next three years will provide ample funds and opportunities to serve adolescents throughout western Massachusetts, the collective hopes that the initiative will continue long after the federal grant money is spent. The scope of the opioid crisis is widespread, and it requires many resources and collaborative efforts to enact lasting change. With this grant, the collective is hopeful that it will be able to serve young adults struggling with opioid addiction and implement programs to prevent addiction in adolescents.
Here to Help
The widespread nature of the opioid crisis affects many Massachusetts residents in a variety of ways. If you or a loved one is facing drug-related criminal charges, Thomas Whitney Attorney at Law is here to help. Give us a call today at 256-6234 to speak with an experienced and compassionate criminal defense attorney.