‘Boston is in crisis’: Suffolk County sheriff pens op-ed on impacts of opioid disaster calling for extra sources

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‘Boston is in crisis’: Suffolk County sheriff pens op-ed on impacts of opioid disaster calling for extra sources

In the week since debate erupted over the City of Boston’s strategy to the opioid disaster, Suffolk County Sheriff Steven Tompkins is asking for extra “long-term solutions” and sources to sort out the impacts of the epidemic. 

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  • Debate erupted within the South End over the town’s strategy to the opioid disaster. Here’s what you must know.

In an op-ed printed in The Boston Globe on Monday, the sheriff mentioned the assault on an officer from the county’s home of correction, which sparked Boston police to conduct two days of directed patrols within the space of Newmarket Square that resulted in additional than 30 arrests, is indicative of an issue that the entire metropolis is going through. 

“Boston is in crisis” Tompkins wrote, stating that the opioid and homelessness disaster extends effectively past the world generally known as “Methadone Mile,” the stretch of metropolis blocks surrounding Mass. Ave., Melnea Cass Boulevard, and Southampton Street, the place shelters and restoration providers are provided for these scuffling with substance use issues and dependancy points.

“Unfortunately, while many organizations — including our own — work to stem this rising tide of addiction, it’s not enough,” the sheriff wrote. “The water is too high, the current is too persistent, and our resources are too limited. This is utterly unacceptable. All of these neighborhoods must be returned to the livable/workable environments that residents and businesses rightly deserve, not for a day or a week, but permanently. To do any less is a failure of the collective leadership of Boston.”

He estimated that greater than 70 p.c of individuals taken into custody by the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department are apprehended for “addiction-related crimes.”

“I see firsthand the devastating impact of addiction, not only on the directly afflicted but also on their families and our communities, while the opioid epidemic continues to rage,” the sheriff wrote. 

Tompkins mentioned he met with Suffolk District Attorney Rachael Rollins, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, and different metropolis officers to debate the problems round Newmarket Square. But he referred to as for the inclusion of different native establishments, resembling Boston Medical Center, in future discussions and “a coordinated funding approach to create and maintain more treatment and recovery beds.”

More long-term options are additionally wanted, he wrote.

“Reestablishing Long Island is critical, but if bridge reconstruction remains stalled, other solutions must be considered,” Tompkins wrote. “Newmarket can’t wait, Boston can’t wait, and a vulnerable homeless population can’t wait.”

Read the full op-ed on the Globe.

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