Dennis Looks For Funds For Drug Recovery Support

DENNIS – The Town of Dennis is seeking money for drug recovery support after overdose deaths nearly tripled from 5 in 2017 to 14 in 2018.

“Data released last summer by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health indicated a significant increase in opioid related overdose deaths,” said Chairwoman of the Dennis Substance Use Disorder Advisory Beth Albert.

Albert requested last Thursday that selectman ask voters for an additional $5,000 dollars at the scheduled May 5th town meeting.

The additional $5,000 would be added to $5,000 that the council already has and a $5,000 grant awarded to the council from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention.

The combined $15,000 could pay for 25 percent of the work schedule of a recovery support navigator from Duffy Health Center. The navigator would serve as long term support for individuals attempting recover from drug addiction.

The council has plans for the navigator to work closely with police.

Dennis Police Sgt. Kenneth Gelnett, who supervises the department’s community service program, said although local police have been trained in ways to help those with addictions find help, as well as provide a post overdose visit, the number of overdoses is just too large for police to keep up with.

“Often times when your just treating a symptom, your not fixing the problem and what happens is the problem pops up again, and again, and again, and what that means is repeated calls, and sometimes the problem gets worse. So if you don’t fix the problem, the problem gets worse”, said Gelnett.

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