Wilmington Police Attend Heroin Education Awareness Task Force HEAT Conference

first_imgWOBURN, MA — More than 250 leaders in public health, law enforcement and addiction recovery came together on Friday for the 13th Annual Woburn District Court Heroin Education Awareness Task Force (H.E.A.T.) Conference.The Friday, June 21 conference was held at the Hilton Boston/Woburn, and featured presentations on a variety of addiction treatment and recovery methods, including medications for opioid use disorder, 12-step recovery programming, post detox continued support and services, jail diversion efforts and overdose mapping technology.The H.E.A.T. program was founded by Vincent J. Piro and Michael P. Higgins, of the probation department of Woburn District Court and the police departments of the seven cities and towns under its jurisdiction, including Woburn, Burlington, North Reading, Reading, Stoneham, Wilmington and Winchester.“Each year, this conference brings together the people who are leading the charge to prevent addiction and help people recover,” said Woburn Police Chief Robert Rufo. “H.E.A.T. has done a phenomenal job providing a platform for people to turn to in order to learn about substance use and the treatments available. The opioid crisis is as critical as ever, and it’s crucial that communities come together to respond, educate and help those in need.”Piro began the conference by thanking all those that have supported H.E.A.T., as well as recognizing the work being done by treatment recovery programs and initiatives, local police departments and the Middlesex County Sheriff’s Office to help those struggling with substance use.“I think everyone in this room has the same goal when we talk about making a difference, saving lives,” Piro said. “And that’s really the goal of our program.”Higgins, Billerica’s substance abuse coordinator, stressed the importance of researching the recovery programs and detox beds that patients are referred to, emphasized the importance of recovery coaches and also discussed the frequent connection between substance use and mental health concerns.“We feel mental health ties directly with addiction and substance abuse,” Higgins said. “And sometimes you don’t know which one it is. Is it mental health or substance use?”Higgins said mental health has become a key part of the follow up work he does for the Billerica Police Department.Colleen Labelle, director of the Office Based Addiction Treatment (OBAT) Training and Technical Assistance Program for the state of Massachusetts, discussed various available medications for opioid use disorder that can be used to treat patients. Labelle stressed, however, that solutions for recovery vary widely from person to person, and that reducing stigma is essential to making people feel comfortable seeking help.“This is the single most stigmatized disease of our time,” Labelle said. “When we do stigmatize it, judge it, we isolate people and make people afraid to come to treatment….when we stigmatize, people die.”Louie Diaz, a navigator for the Middlesex County Sherrif’s Office, shared his story of substance use and how a prison sentence served as the catalyst for his recovery. He told those at the conference that there are many people in recovery, although their stories aren’t always heard.“There are people recovering,” Diaz said. “There are guys leaving prisons, jails and never coming back. But you don’t hear those stories. People aren’t interested in those stories…there are people recovering. The recovering community is huge.”Brian Teague, director of Michael’s House Sober Living and Patrick’s House Sober Living, shared the impetus behind Patrick’s House Sober Living in Andover and stressed the importance of supporting those struggling after they detox and undergo treatment.“Folks who stay in sober living longer are much more likely to succeed when they leave a program,” Teague said. “We wanted to find a way where we could bridge the gap and make sure individuals could stay in a supportive, structured community, but have the opportunity to demonstrate a little more independence when it comes to their recovery. That’s the difference between being in treatment and in recovery.”Additional speakers at the conference included Matthew Page-Shelton, Jail Diversion Clinician serving the towns of Tewksbury, Billerica, Chelmsford and Dracut, and Roy Frost, Deputy Chief of the Billerica Police Department.H.E.A.T. is sponsored by Woburn District Court and the seven police departments served by the court, the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services and AdCare Educational Institute.(NOTE: The above press release is from John Guilfoil Public Relations.)Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWoburn District Court H.E.A.T. (Heroin Education Awareness Task Force) Holds 11th Annual ConferenceIn “Government”Woburn District Court H.E.A.T. Program Addresses Substance Abuse At 12th Annual ConferenceIn “Police Log”Wilmington & Reading Police Nab Bank Robber Suspect After PursuitIn “Police Log”last_img read more

Republican Michael Cloud Sworn In As Texas Newest US Congressman

first_img Share Abby Livingston / The Texas TribuneU.S. Rep.-elect Michael Cloud (right) participated in a mock swearing in with U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Cloud’s family on July 10, 2018. Moments later, Cloud was officially sworn in on the House floor.With an oath on the U.S. House floor to uphold the U.S. Constitution — and friends and family watching from above — Republican Michael Cloud officially became the newest member of Texas’ U.S. congressional delegation Tuesday evening.The swearing-in ceremony took place just before Cloud cast his first vote as the representative for Texas’ 27th congressional district, which stretches along the Gulf Coast and up toward Austin.After being introduced by U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, Cloud took to the podium with his three children to address the chamber.“I pray that we have the courage and the strength to do what’s right and to serve the people of this nation well,” he said to his new colleagues.Cloud assumed the seat after winning a special election last month to finish out the term of Republican former congressman Blake Farenthold, who resigned in April after revelations that he used $84,000 in taxpayer dollars to settle a sexual harassment claim.Cloud beat Democratic candidate Eric Holguin for the seat, 55 percent to 32 percent, surpassing the 50 percent threshold he needed to avoid a runoff. Seven other candidates also ran, though none received more than 5 percent of the vote.Cloud, who formerly chaired the Victoria County GOP, arrived in Washington on Sunday and quickly got to work assembling a staff and learning the ropes on Capitol Hill. Now that he has been sworn in, he can move into Farenthold’s former office, and he will find out his committee assignments this week. Cloud is also opening district offices in Victoria and Corpus Christi.Cloud will face another election — and Holguin, his Democratic opponent — in November, this time to determine who will win a full two-year term in Congress. Libertarian Daniel Tinus and independent James Duerr are also on the ballot.Congratulations to Michael Cloud being sworn in as a new member of Congress for the 27th District in Texas. ⁦@MichaelJCloud⁩ ⁦@TexasGOP⁩ #txlege https://t.co/G1oX2Fv1D6— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) July 9, 2018last_img read more