Mass. DPH Commissioner Says She’ll Likely Recommend A Detox Facility For Franklin County

Massachusetts’ Commissioner of Public Health Cheryl Bartlett was in the western part of the state Friday to address opiate addiction. She says opening a detox facility in Franklin County will likely be among her recommendations to Governor Deval Patrick next week to discuss how to use $20 million he designated in March to fight opiate addiction. Right now Franklin County has no long-term detox facility, and Bartlett says changing that will likely be a priority, but gave no more specifics.

“The recommendations will be really more broad-based, so if we were to say we think there needs to be a detox treatment, that’s what we would say and then we would do more research based on how the governor prioritizes things,” says Bartlett.

Bartlett’s comments came after a meeting with more than 30 community leaders in Greenfield. The group of politicians, health officials, law enforcement, and others discussed a wide range of issues related to rising numbers of opiate addictions and overdoses in the rural county. The commissioner held a similar discussion in Springfield.

In-depth: Franklin County Sheriff Christopher Donelan on the region’s approach to combating growing opiate abuse.