Melrose Police to Hold Community Meeting on Opioids

Chief Michael L. Lyle announces that the Melrose Police Department will host its monthly community meeting next week to provide information and resources for those struggling with the disease of addiction.

The meeting will be held at the Milano Senior Center, 201 West Foster St., on Wednesday, March 30, from 6-8 p.m.

This event is part of the department’s monthly community meetings initiative, where police and other city and state officials gather to discuss a prevalent topic with residents.

Chief Lyle will provide attendees with an overview of the city’s crime statistics related to opioid overdoses. Detective Greg Forestell, Detective Sgt. Paul McNamara and a representative from the DEA New England Field Division will be available to contribute to the discussion and answer questions.

Additionally, guest speaker Michael Duggan from Wicked Sober will share his personal testimony surrounding addiction and explain services and treatment options available for recovery through his organization. Carol Plotkin and Beth Lucey from the Collaborative Outreach and Adaptable Care at Hallmark Health (COACHH) program will also be present to speak about the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital’s outpatient program. COACHH services patients who frequently visit the emergency room, those with a history of opioid use, and/or pregnant women with a history of substance use disorders by working to enhance access to healthcare and community resources.

“During this month’s meeting we’re going to take an in depth look at the current status of our city pertaining to opioid use and the resources available to residents looking to recover from their addiction,” Chief Lyle said. “This is certainly a fantastic opportunity for folks to find out more information surrounding the disease of addiction.”

The Melrose Police Department has also partnered with the Melrose Substance Abuse Coalition to combat the opioid epidemic. A prescription drug drop-off box is located in the lobby of the police station and available to the community 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Melrose is also part of the Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative—a regional grant program including Malden, Medford, Reading, Stoneham, and Wakefield that focuses on opioid use and overdose prevention, as well as raising awareness about addiction and how stigma affects all those touched by the disease.

“We applaud Melrose Police for their efforts in connecting individuals with a substance use disorder to long term-treatment, rather than the criminal justice system,” said Lauren Dustin, assistant substance abuse prevention coordinator. “Not only does this provide a potentially lifesaving opportunity for recovery, but recognizing that addiction is a disease is an essential step in eliminating the stigma attached to it.”