Minutes-September 2018

I. Welcome & Introductions

II. District Attorney Tim Cruz

  • The DA reported out on a major arrest that recently took place with the help of local, state and federal authorities resulting in arrests with ties to Brockton and Boston. He noted that this was a great example of community policing, cooperation, and collaboration.
  • The Sheriff recently arranged for the DA to meet with the SUDs unit where he spoke with 9 different men about their experiences. He noted that the facility is in front of many other institutions and he commended the Sheriff for his work in implementing these types of programs in the jail.
  • There will be a paper coming out of the National DA’s Opioid Working Group.
  • Fentanyl has been coming in from US mails.

III. Legislative Report – Senator Vinny deMacedo

  • Senator deMacedo noted that legislatively they’ve been working very aggressively.
  • He shared that the CARE Act is supporting life coaches and that Ray Tomassi pushed this idea at Gosnold and now government is supporting it as this is making a difference.
  • He acknowledged that the world of law enforcement is changing and he is very proud of PCO.
  • He said prevention and education needs to be the next focus and where we spend our resources.
  • New legislation on Section 35 will now allow the court and the petitioner to be notified if an individual is released early. However, they will need written approval from the individual prior to notification.


  • Karen Barry reported out on the Brockton Neighborhood Health Center RIZE grant which will be working with the trial population at the jail. This will target individuals during the dangerous period of time where they go from detox to bail. SUDs will be flagged and they will see a clinician, determine their needs, and transition to services when they leave. They will also be developing primary care relationships through this.
  • Karen also reported that a SAMSHA grant through Gandara will be providing recovery coaches to work with the trial population.
  • She reported that legislature took a serious look at mandatory MAT for all facilities. Currently, there are several Sheriff’s Departments that are involved in a data discovery and that they are part of a controlled group of 14 different departments who are offering anything from inductions, to no services, recovery coaches, and rigorous hand offs.

V. Database Report – Pam Kelly, Kelly Research Associates

  • The PowerPoint of findings is included in the minutes.

VI. Presentation: South Shore Peer Recovery – Ken Feldstein

  • Ken reported that they opened a new center in Scituate in March.
  • The types of support they provide include 12 step fellowship, sober parenting, meditation class, detox acupuncture, faith finders group as well as telephone recovery support which will be launched this fall.
  • Sober parenting included 10 moms with 19 children ranging from 8 months – 9 years. They graduated 5 in July. Hanover YMCA provided childcare and the families were provided a free meal.
  • There is no cost to any of their programming.

VII. Presentation: Theresa Harmon – To The Moon and Back

  • Theresa shared information about her non-profit organization that supports children who are born substance exposed and their families.
  • She noted that there has been limited research to help opioid dependent babies.
  • They provide caregiver groups twice a month in Plymouth and at the end of September they will be offering a children’s group.
  • Symptoms vary for NAS children including crying, irritability, sneezing, muscle rigidity, vision, hearing, motor skills, cognitive, and behavioral in terms of sensory based similar to autism.
  • They will be offering a caregivers grant for families to apply for.
  • Theresa discussed legislation in the House including an opioid bill that is subject to appropriation. This would address long term services and a long term research study.
  • Boston Medical Center is the only clinic for NAS.
  • In 2015, 1 child every 25 minutes is born with NAS in the US and now it is every 15 minutes.
  • In the South Shore there are 49.4 NAS babies per 1000 and Plymouth is the highest.

VI. Subcommittee Presentations and Reports

A. Public Safety – Chief Mike Botieri and Chief Scott Allen
  • PCO is receiving a National Award which highlights the collaboration of the program.
  •  There will be a municipal police training where 350 chiefs are mandated to attend. A team from PCO will be presenting on their substance use model to the chiefs present.
  •  PCO will be meeting with a health group from Italy to share best practices of PCO. It was noted that Rome sees approximately 500-600 contacts a day. They are astonished that our county carries Narcan and the relationships that have been built within the community.
  •  PCO will be presenting at several upcoming events including the National Institute of Justice in D.C., the Summit for Clinical Excellence in Bedford, and the HAD Conference in Cleveland, Ohio.
  •  HIDTA & CDC are analyzing PCO’s model to measure its success & ultimately use it as a national model.
  •  PCO has seen an increase in at-risk referrals which are up 75%. Many individuals are self-identifying to police departments to access help.
  •  Good Samaritan Medical Center has signed on and PCO is now able to respond to follow ups warranted by the hospital.
  •  Many police departments are also working on children exposed to trauma as it relates to the opioid crisis that the county is facing. Schools are providing resources to younger kids affected by substance use in the home.
  •  Champion Plan has been a huge partner to PCO.
  •  PCO is hiring a second program coordinator through PAARI’s AmeriCorps program.
  •  The PCO Advisory Board has been established to help make decisions for the county model.
  •   Last year, 242 people made up 36% of all overdoses in the county. PCO has developed a high risk group to address ways in which they can engage and work with this population differently.
B. Medical- Sarah Cloud
  •  The medical subcommittee is partnering with BU School of Medicine to host a Scope of Pain Conference at the Doubletree in Rockland on October 18th. The registration fee is $25 and CEUs will be provided.
  •  Register at: scopeofpain.org/in-person-training/select-a-conference.php
C. Education-Mary Waldron
  •  The education subcommittee will be looking to host another conference in May and the university is looking at the week of May 21st.
  •  Claudio from BSU has developed videos that will be published on the taskforce website. Please reference him as the producer.
  •  Ed Jacoubs will be providing a training for students and teachers from the College of Education on helping traumatized and drug endangered children learn. The next goal is to train the College of Social Work.
    •  The DA’s Office has trained about 30 schools since the 1st of the year on this topic and they have 7 more sites to go. They will have all trainings completed by the spring.
    •  If any social service or law enforcement agencies would like to be trained, please contact Ed Jacoubs to set up a training.
  •  BSU’s Opioid Working Group will be creating an opportunity for virtual conversation to take place and they will be holding only 4 meetings per year.
  •  Mary shared positive feedback about the book, Dreamland, and felt that the education provided throughout the book is critical.

D. Community Coalitions-Joanne Peterson and Hillary DuBois
  •  Hillary shared upcoming vigils that will be taking place in East Bridgewater (9/20 at 6PM at Community Covenant Church) and Carver (10/16 at 6PM at Carver Jr/Sr High School). The Brockton area vigil had approximately 200 people in attendance at Massasoit Community College on 8/30.
  •  Prevention Services of High Point will be hosting four upcoming trades trainings with the first being held in Brockton in November.
    • The 3 additional trainings will be held in January, February and March and at least one will be held in the Plymouth, Middleboro, Carver area. 
    • These trainings will target non-union shops to provide education on substance use prevention.
  •  The Brockton Area Prevention Collaborative will also continue its work with the vocational schools including Southeastern and South Shore Voc Techs. Last spring, staff hosted a series of “shop talks” where information on addiction and opioid prevention was provided to every shop at Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School.
  •  Prevention Services was funded by United Way of Greater Plymouth County to host a 2nd Annual Youth Substance Use Prevention Conference. This conference brought together middle and high school students all throughout Plymouth County. The date of the conference will be during the 1st week of June.
  •  The Champion Plan is hosting a Celebration of Recovery on 9/18 as they have made 1000 placements into treatment since they opened their doors.
  •  Hillary also noted that the Collaborative was able to present to all Resident Assistants at Stonehill College during the month of September where information on addiction, binge drinking, opioids, vaping and other current trends was provided.
  •  A goal for this year is to host a similar presentation at BSU with their RA’s.
  •  Karen Barry wondered if High Point could implement a Recovery Coach Academy and Hillary noted that she would be able to connect her to the appropriate contact on campus to do so.
  •  Joanne reported that Learn to Cope launched a grandparent’s corner on their website.
  •  She noted that they are in need of additional grief groups.
  •  In July, L2C hosted a day at Canobie Lake Park where over 200 people were able to join them as they all have been affected by addiction.
  •  L2C hosted a Conference in June and they are hoping to make it an annual event.
  •  She also noted that Connecticut and Kennebunk are requesting groups at this time.
  •  Lastly, Joanne shared that Employee Assistance Programs through trade unions are seeing many spouses in need of support.
E. Faith Based Coalitions- Rev. Jehle and Sean Merrill
  •  Rev. Jehle shared that more churches are beginning to engage and offer support to individuals and that he is looking for a way to connect faith based events and initiatives.
  •  There will be a health symposium on Saturday mornings to address what is going on utilizing a solutions-based approach.
  •  The upcoming banquets at Teen Challenge will be taking place on October 13th and 14th. There will be musical worship and testimonies provided. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at heartheircry.org. For more information please contact Sean Merrill at smerrill@tcnewengland.org or 508.408.4388
  •  The Archdiocese of Boston also shared that they are hosting masses for people in recovery.
F. Additional Taskforce Updates
  •  Kelly Macomber, Coordinator of the Plymouth Youth Development Collaborative (PYDC), shared her role through Plymouth Public Schools in partnership with Merielle Paul from High Point’s Prevention Services team and the Plymouth Area Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative.
    •  The focus of the collaborative is prevention and education. An upcoming initiative that is taking place is the launch of their youth marijuana prevention campaign, “Just the Facts.”
  • The group discussed holding meetings every 6-8 weeks moving forward.
  •  If there are any upcoming events that agencies would like to share with the taskforce, please send them to Barbara and they can be sent to the listserv and posted on the website.

VII. Adjournment