Sunday, July 17, 2016

Opioid epidemic in Hadley increases danger for hepatitis C

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – People are dying every day from heroin and opioid overdoses and new information was revealed Wednesday about the opioid epidemic in Hadley. Hampshire County’s opioid abuse prevention coalition met Wednesday to address the latest concerns with the opioid epidemic.

The coalition, known as HOPE, held a meeting Wednesday afternoon at the Hadley Farms Meeting House. The group discussed two important issues related to the epidemic. One of those is an increasing danger from hepatitis C.

Anthony Osiki, from the Department of Health, provided current state and local data on rising rates of the highly infectious virus.

An update on the needle exchange programs across the state was also given. The coalition hopes they can use this information to better support those in recovery.

Cherry Sullivan, Coordinator of Hampshire Hope told 22News, “What is information that we know, and what is the information that’s we don’t know yet in our community and how can we get that to make informed data driven decisions to address this epidemic here in Hampshire County.”

HOPE, has helped get many people with drug addiction across the county to treatment through diversion programs.

Sullivan said the most common way people have been getting Hepatitis C is through injection drug use.

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