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Date last updated: Tuesday, November 6, 15:27 PST


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Mass. police department to get $360K drug grant


The Enterprise

BROCKTON, Mass. — Brockton will be among eight cities statewide to receive a portion of $3.6 million in federal funds to fight prescription drug abuse in youths ages 12 to 25.

Gov. Deval Patrick on Thursday announced the funding, which will go to the state Department of Public Health and then be distributed to Brockton and seven other cities.

"As we work to combat prescription drug abuse, this funding will support crucial prevention services in communities that are experiencing the greatest need," Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray, chairman of the Interagency Council on Substance Abuse and Prevention, said in a statement.

The $3.6 million was awarded by the U.S. Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration to the DPH Bureau of Substance Abuse Services.

The eight communities selected to participate are Brockton, Boston, Worcester, Springfield, New Bedford, Fall River, Lynn and Quincy.

Each city will receive $120, 000 annually over the next three years to advance the program.

"These communities were chosen because each had over 300 fatal and nonfatal prescription drug overdoses between 2007 and 2009, the latest year in which comprehensive data was available," the governor's press release said.

Brockton Mayor Linda Balzotti said she had no specifics Thursday as to how the city would use the federal money. She said she is awaiting guidelines from the Department of Public Health.

The Enterprise in its continuing series "Wasted Youth," began reporting more than five years ago on the local prescription drug and heroin epidemic.

Two federal studies confirmed what local drug treatment workers and police have been saying: eastern Massachusetts out-paces much of the nation in heroin-fueled emergency room visits and admissions to state treatment programs for painkiller addictions.

The problem is both in the cities and small towns, reports from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration have said.

Copyright 2012 The Enterprise




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