Franklin County Officials Seek Funding To Combat Heroin Abuse

Officials in Franklin County are pushing for more funding to combat the increase in heroin and opiate abuse that’s hit the rural region.

There hasn’t been a detox facility in Franklin County since a round of state budget cuts in 2003. That’s according to John Merrigan, the county’s register of probate. He says he’s seeking renewed funding for detox programs. And with widespread opiate and heroin abuse, Merrigan says the county will also need long-term rehab facilities.

“It’s not like the alcohol 30-day detox anymore,” says Merrigan. “When people are caught up in the opiate, heroin addiction, it becomes three months, six months, sometimes a year.”

Merrigan is heading a conference on opiate abuse in Franklin County scheduled for Monday afternoon at Greenfield Community College. State and federal legislators, who could help secure some of the money Merrigan’s looking for, are slated to attend.