Minutes- December 2016

I. Welcome – District Attorney Tim Cruz
  • Legalization of Marijuana
    • It was a close ballot question – we are now dealing with the language of question 4
    • Too many doors have been opened
    • Adjustments of the law could include:
      • Delay of implementation dates
      • Limitations on home grows
      • Tweaking of the excise tax
      • The age of legalization is not going to change to 25
    • Communities can opt out*
      • Towns may ask their board of selectmen to add a question to the municipal election to opt out of retail sale
      • Towns would still be able to have home grows, but it would be up to the city/town to decide whether they want to have a store open in their town
    • Senator deMacedo suggested to first provide an opportunity to opt out and if that is unsuccessful, do a moratorium followed by getting the message out to try and change the law
    • Is there already language for opting out?
      • MA Municipal Association is working with a legal group to come up with boiler plate language that can be shared after their meeting on January 20th
      • Recommendation: Information should go out to Chiefs NOW to get a placeholder for the upcoming election
        • Municipalities can take action now:
          • First step – town meeting to set limit on the number of retail locations
          • Second step – securing signatures from 10% of the voters to put a local option on the ballot to ban retail facilities in the community
    • Within Plymouth County, 15 towns voted YES (12 towns voted NO: Bridgewater, Duxbury, Hanover, Hingham, Kingston, Lakeville, Marshfield, Mattapoisett, Norwell, Pembroke, Scituate, West Bridgewater)
    • Police officers will have to abide by the federal law – the MA Chiefs Lawyer put a hard line down on marijuana being in violation of the federal law
    • Will marijuana be enforced as a federal law?
      • Not sure how it would get done
        • State Rep requested feedback from the taskforce: When retail is available, would we scrap medical marijuana all together?
        • Medical marijuana is not taxed and looked over by DPH
        • Is there a difference between medical and retail marijuana?

Seeking an informed opinion on this to be ready to respond to the question when the time comes

II. Sheriff Joe McDonald
  • Department of Public Health – Chapter 55
    •  http://www.mass.gov/chapter55/
    • This report provides useful data for presentations including information by town on addiction, substance admissions, etc.
    • It is a resource that can be shared with your community

Chief Allen noted that substance admissions data on this site is very helpful when streamlining data because there is often a disconnect with the town’s data points because so many overdoses are being accounted for as the location of Brockton Hospital when really they are from the suburbs

III. A.C.E.S. Study: Helping Traumatized Children Learn & Succeed
  • The DA’s Office is utilizing this study as a framework to address substance use prevention in an innovative way
    • The DA is presenting this strategy at the upcoming CADCA and Child League of Cities Conference
    • It is important for the county to adopt an understanding of this study and how it can be used to address problems associated with substance use
    • The DA’s Office is working with communities, like East Bridgewater and Plymouth for example, to train individuals on how to respond to a trauma-related incidence in school by increasing communication with the local police department and the administrators within the school system
    • The idea is to implement a form of the Handle with Care Model that was presented at the May Conference on the Role of Educators in the Opioid Crisis
      • A school would simply receive a name of a student that was involved in an incident that included an overdose of a family member in the home for example and that child would be treated a little bit better because of this knowledge
      • Brockton started working on this initiative as it related to domestic violence cases where they would hand a red envelope with a student’s name on it by the police department to ensure that the school was taking care of that child with a little more care because they may have witnessed violence in the home the night before
        • Brockton has been sending social workers out with police officers for years after they visited the city of New Haven, CT where they were implementing this model to address incidences with children involved
        • The DA’s Office created a heat map that shows all of the police reports for gun shots in Brockton with the location of schools overlaid on the map – teachers have been amazed to see that this took place right in their backyard
        • Case Studies where this model has been implemented in Brockton show an 80% decrease in suspendable issues as well as 43% fewer office referrals
    • The DA’s Office has also created a heat map with the number of overdoses in the area
      • 65% of the overdoses took place in the home which is where kids are
      • The average age group of overdoses is decreasing to 20-29 years of age and 30-39 years of age – this is the typical age of parents who have young children
      • The CDC’s ACES study asked participants if they had ever experienced an ACE (adverse childhood experiences) including examples like sexual abuse, physical abuse, incarceration, etc.
        • 70% had at least 1 ACE
        • Then they looked at the number of ACES reported as well as their health
        • 4 or more ACES indicated a 1,500% chance that you would be more likely to become an intravenous drug user
          • This amount of ACES could also shorten your life by up to 15 years
    • To help implement this framework/initiative into the DA’s Office prevention strategies, they have applied for an AG Grant that would address helping traumatized children learn
IV. Subcommittee Reports

A. Public Safety

  • The Outreach Program is continuing to expand with 14 communities in total
    • Within 1-2 months the entire county should be covered
    • Looking at the Outreach Program as a best-practice
      • The program has one year of statistics in place
      • EB & Plymouth are working together to collaborate more effectively and share best-practices

B. Medical

  • The subcommittee has drafted a position paper which was distributed at the meeting for review and feedback

C. Education

  • Quincy College and BSU have been working closely on a variety of topics
    • Their meeting is scheduled for December 19th following the taskforce meeting
    • An interesting challenge that has come up in higher education is the number of challenges grandparents face with raising their grandchildren and trying to secure financial aid through FAFSA
      • Some grandparents are paying out of pocket due to this issue
      • The colleges and universities are working to find a way to solve this problem
      • Quincy College met with the local Plymouth DCF Office and the Plymouth Public Schools
        • Those who are in DCF custody receive a discounted rate and the college is matching that discount
    • Narcan has been placed strategically on campus in AED boxes and all staff have been trained at Quincy College
    • The college also hosted a career fair in conjunction with the health fair to address substance use as it relates to future job opportunities
      • 300 people were in attendance
      • It has been eye opening for nurses, psychology and even business
    • At the next meeting there should be updates from the Higher Ed consortium on the marijuana policies on campus

D. Community Coalitions

  • Champion Plan – police addiction recovery program
    • Instant access to treatment with additional follow-up services
    • There have been many success as a result of the program
      • They’ve serviced 273 unique individuals
      • Made 379 placements into treatment
      • Clean and sober babies have been born
  • Recovery Coaching Program at High Point links coaches with hospitals to support overdose individuals with services and resources
    • This program runs 24 hours a day
    • South Shore Hospital and the two Brockton Hospitals are involved in the program
  • There have been many organizations and schools that have applied for the AG Grant in the county and we are hopeful that we will receive grant funding to support programming and curriculum
    • Middleboro and Carver for example submitted a request to develop middle school level curriculum using Brockton’s high school level curriculum that was created in collaboration with the Brockton Public Schools and the Brockton Area Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative (BAOAPC)
    • The BAOAPC recently partnered with Massasoit’s Gateway to College program to support the creation of a 3 credit health and wellness curriculum for their students
    • The Collaborative is also working closely with the alternative schools and after school programs in the area to infuse prevention education as much as possible as well as to involve the youth in social marketing initiatives taking place
      • They’ve conducted 10-12 focus groups with youth through these connections in regards to social media input
      • The Collaborative has conducted several targeted focus groups with school nurses, guidance departments and pediatricians in the area to gain their perspective on the scope of the problem as well as their concerns and needs going forward
        • Some of their feedback included:
        • Younger youth substance use
        • Parental substance use – not always knowing what to do with a parent that presents with the smell of marijuana, etc.
        • Youth overmedicated with ADD meds
        • Experimentation at the middle school level
  • SBIRT implementation – we are working to provide training on the new process that will be in place
    • Making physicians aware that this will be coming down the pike and that referrals may often be made by schools
    • PhotoVoice is a form of non-traditional drug education that the BAOAPC has implemented in several towns throughout the county
      • Over the summer the Collaborative created a 30 min documentary which has and will be used as a resource within the school for some peer to peer education

E. Faith-Based

  • It is clear that pastors are increasing communication with other pastors and churches in regards to substance use
  • They are interested in getting pastors involved for further collaboration
    • For example, they could also work with the chiefs to connect individuals who’ve overdosed and are receiving follow up services to connect them with the church
    • They are seeing more and more grandparents raising grandchildren and coming in to counseling services through the church
    • AA/NA meetings are taking place at churches but those individuals don’t actually go to church
  • Teen Challenge is prevention focused as well
    • They have done close to 125 resource tables including testimonies from individuals in the program over the course of the year
    • Teen Challenge for example shared a testimonial to a young man at the Plymouth Drop-In Center which was a very supportive resource to one of the individuals there ->infusing hope
    • They are very close to opening up the 42 more beds
    • They are adding a 30, 60, 90 day program for individuals to get the help they need and then hopefully see the success of others in the program to encourage them to stick it out for the long run
    • They’ve seen middle school level success in other states like Minnesota with their Good Choices programming with the schools
    • Key faith leaders would definitely like to know the statistics that were relayed through the ACES study
    • The Diocese recently provided an opportunity for individuals to receive information on statistics, narcan, overdose and death, dying, lose as it relates to substance use
      • There is a stigma around not acknowledging loss
V. Final Comments
  • State Rep noted the unique opportunity to see both successes of the Plymouth and Barnstable County taskforces
    • He suggested that we could cross pollenate to both counties
    • The Barnstable taskforce meeting is the 1st Thursday of each month at the top of the hill where the Sheriff’s used to be
    • The 21st Century Cures Act has a bigger draw in apps – he will suggest to Beth Albert to join the Plymouth taskforce meetings to address this funding
  •  It was suggested to visit www.mychoicematters.net which is an education vehicle to try and give kids perspective on peer pressure
    • It also relays parental ideas around communication to try and bridge the gap