The Recorder – Franklin County sheriff, doctor present at national drug summit

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Printed: 4/20/2021 4:53:35 PM

GREENFIELD — Sheriff Christopher Donelan, who co-chairs the Opioid Job Power of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Area, and Dr. Ruth Potee had been among the many presenters taking part within the nationwide Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit, which was held just about this month.

The occasion, sponsored by Georgetown College in Nashville, Tenn., featured Donelan and Potee, who had been invited to current and share their experiences and views on habit therapy in jails, particularly their groundbreaking work on the Franklin County Jail and Home of Correction utilizing medically assisted therapy with suboxone and methadone.

“Franklin County was the primary home of correction within the state, and one of many first within the nation, to introduce suboxone as a therapy for heroin and opioid habit in 2016,” Donelan mentioned.

In 2019, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Workplace was then the primary within the nation to turn into licensed by the federal authorities to distribute methadone. In accordance with Donelan, no different county correctional facility has that designation.

The summit Donelan and Potee introduced at included corrections, public well being and public security professionals from throughout the nation.

“Franklin County is innovative with these remedies,” Donelan mentioned. “Across the nation, so many businesses refuse to adapt their packages to a few of these tried and true remedies for opioid and heroin habit. Our objective is to share our expertise and present others they don’t must concern new approaches.”

Likewise, Potee, medical director on the Franklin County Jail and Home of Correction, spoke in regards to the evolution of habit science and the necessity for these within the corrections subject to adapt to new strategies of therapy.

“Dependancy is a illness, not an ethical failing,” she mentioned. “It’s time for the sector of corrections to acknowledge and embrace these remedies that we all know work from a long time of analysis. Franklin County has finished it efficiently and extra must comply with.”

On the conclusion of their presentation, Donelan and Potee fielded questions from members of the viewers, and what was evident to each of them, they mentioned, was that there’s a “actual want” across the nation to enhance habit therapy in jails.

“We’re actually main the nation with the therapy mannequin at our native jail,” Donelan mentioned. “It’s an honor to have individuals seeking to us as a mannequin for the long run and it truly is a credit score to the unbelievable officers {and professional} employees we’ve got. An amazing therapy program doesn’t simply occur; nice workers make it occur.”

Donelan co-chairs the Opioid Job Power with Register of Probate John Merrigan and District Lawyer David Sullivan. The duty drive was fashioned in September 2013 and collaborates with greater than 300 private and non-private companions to make sure that the area works collectively to assist scale back opioid and heroin habit, stop overdose deaths and enhance the standard of life for everybody. For extra details about the duty drive, go to opioidtaskforce.org.

Attain Anita Fritz at 413-772-9591 or afritz@recorder.com.



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