Abreu Discusses Council’s State Of Emergency Vote
During their Thursday night meeting the New Bedford City Council voted to declare a State of Emergency regarding the city's opioid crisis.
They unanimously voted to send letters to Gov. Charlie Baker and state and federal legislators asking for resources to help combat the epidemic.
While speaking with WBSM's Brian Thomas on Friday Councillor-at-Large Ian Abreu said that the resources they're seeking are more than just state and federal dollars.
"I'm not necessarily saying 'throw money at the problem'" said Abreu "I don't think throwing boatloads of money will help the situation either, but I do think that we need to develop a multi-layered, multi-pronged approach to figuring this out."
As the discussion begins to focus on what steps should be taken abreu said having a medical marijuana facility in the could help to cut down on the use of opioids.
"The American Journal of Medical Association states clearly that cities and towns that have a medical marijuana facility have seen opioid related overdoses decrease by a minimum of 25 percent," said Abreu.
While many proposals may be considered Abreu says something needs to be done soon to prevent an already tragic situation from escalating.
There are individuals in our community who suffer from addiction or maybe mental health issues, overdosing on a daily basis, overdosing behind the wheel, how long do we wait before, God forbid, one day that car veers off the road and goes into a playground with children," said Abreu.
Abreu says he's been in contact with representatives from Beacon Compassion Services who are looking at locations for a possible dispensary in New Bedford.