Council Looking At Team Effort To Combat Opioid Abuse
The New Bedford City Council is looking beyond the city limits for solutions to an ever growing opioid abuse epidemic.
Councilor at Large Debora Coelho and Ward 5 Councilor Kerry Winterson filed a motion Thursday to look to nearby municipalities, as well as the city's emergency responders, to better understand how to combat current opioid abuse.
The Council will invite New Bedford Police Chief David Provencher to a future Committee on Appointments and Briefings meeting to discuss the number of overdose calls his department receives on a daily basis.
Coelho believes these frequent call place a burden on everyone in the community.
"It becomes a very expensive habit not just for the person taking drugs, hurting themselves and their families, but they're hurting us and so we need to talk about the strain on the community," Coelho said.
Winterson is interested in looking at available publicly owned land to build treatment centers, as well as looking at existing facilities capable of building needed additions.
"We need to look at surrounding towns to see what type of areas, town properties, they may have as well as facilities that they're proposing to maybe build or ones that they have now to put additions on, to expand so we can have prevention. So treat people who need this," Winterson said.
The councilors agreed that the city should also get some feedback on what local communities are doing to combat the issues themselves.
Winterson says New Bedford shouldn't be labeled the "epicenter" of the epidemic because "this is a 'we' situation" that isn't specific to any one community.