For Immediate Release - February 04, 2015

AG Healey Meets with Families of Opiate Crisis

Roundtable Discussion Convened by Statewide Family Support Organization “Learn to Cope”

WORCESTER — Emphasizing her attention to the growing opiate epidemic, today Attorney General Maura Healey met with family members who are grappling with a loved one’s addiction at a roundtable discussion about the public health crisis. The event was hosted by Learn to Cope, a statewide family support organization.

“The stories that these families shared are very powerful and I have learned that this epidemic does not discriminate, it impacts people from all walks of life,” AG Healey said. “I am committed to ending this crisis in whatever way possible.”

In her inaugural address in January, AG Healey highlighted the need to address the addiction crisis and in her remarks to the group, she detailed a set of commitments to address the epidemic, including:

  • A collaboration with the governor on public education and outreach programs to expand access to recovery and treatment programs;
  • Expanding the reach of the state’s prescription monitoring program so we can better prevent abuse;
  • Aggressively prosecuting drug traffickers and pill mills to get heroin and prescription drugs off our streets and to keep them away from young people; and
  • Doing what’s necessary to ensure that anti-overdose medication Narcan is available to all of our first responders.

Joining AG Healey for the roundtable were about 20 family members from Learn to Cope as well as the organization’s executive director Joanne Peterson.

Founded 10 years ago, Learn to Cope is a statewide peer-led support network for parents and relatives who are grappling with a loved one’s addiction. The organization provides families with the help they need to navigate the road to recovery. The group has become a national model for addiction treatment and prevention programing with 12 chapters across the state.