Two professionals from Sharon High traveled to Atlanta over April break, guests of Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey at the 2014 National Prescription Drug Abuse Summit.
“Prescription drugs, particularly opiates, are being diverted for non-medical use and abuse in every corner of Norfolk County,” District Attorney Morrissey said. “It is fueling most of our property crimes, many violent crimes and has led to an astonishing number of fatal overdoses. The word crisis is too weak to describe what is happening in Massachusetts.”
The three-day summit in Atlanta provided educators, social workers, police, government leaders and others working in substance abuse prevention seminars defining the scope and origins of the current epidemic, interventions, policies and practices that are working around the country to lessen the abuse. It also fosters information sharing, support and networking among local and national leaders; as DA Morrissey said, “no one person and no one town can successfully address this alone.” This third annual event is the largest of its kind in the United States.
“We are fortunate to have been awarded one of only six category two federal Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Grants, which has enabled us to bring a large group from Norfolk County,” District Attorney Morrissey said. Licensed social worker Marjorie Mitlin, an adjustment counselor at the high school, and guidance counselor Shelley Myerson represented Sharon.
“With comprehensive prescription drug collection and disposal in place, including at the Sharon Police Station, Narcan overdose reversal training and kits available to every police and fire department in the county and some of our other efforts in place, we appear somewhat ahead of much of the country,” Morrissey said. “But there is always more to learn, and there is still much work and struggle ahead of us.”
Pictured Above: Sharon High adjustment counselor Marjorie Mitlin, to the right of Congressman Stephen Lynch, and Guidance Counselor Shelley Myerson, to the left of Congressman William Keating, were guests of Norfolk DA Michael W. Morrissey, right, at the 2014 National Rx Drug Abuse Summit.