Middlesex Opioid Task Force Information and Resources

About the Task Force

Recognizing that no community is immune to the opioid epidemic, we have created five regional, hospital-based opioid task forces since the launch of our initial one in Lowell in 2012: Eastern Middlesex, in partnership with MelroseWakefield Healthcare and State Senator Jason Lewis, Central South Middlesex, in partnership with Emerson Hospital and MetroWest Medical Center, and Charles River Regional, in partnership with Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Metro Region Opioid Task Force in partnership with Mount Auburn Hospital. 

Modeled after our Lowell Opioid Task Force, these task forces bring together representatives from law enforcement, healthcare, emergency medical services, social services, child welfare, schools, and government to identify community-based needs and opportunities.

Meetings are held on a monthly basis. With the addition of these task forces, we have brought representatives from 35 additional cities and towns to the table to discuss and devise meaningful solutions to combat addiction in our communities.

Since 2012 our office has worked in partnership with representatives from law enforcement, healthcare, emergency medical services, social services, child welfare, schools, and government to identify community-based needs and opportunities.  This will not stop now.  

This webpage is meant to serve as a virtual resource for our communities and task force members as we all continue to work address the impacts of the opioid epidemic.

Join us for our upcoming Task Force meeting on May 18.


The Middlesex District Attorney's Office provides donations of Narcan to our law enforcement and community partners. For inquiries about how obtain Narcan during this time, please email Madeleine Gearan at madeleine.h.gearan@mass.gov or call at 781-897-8341. If calling, please leave a message, messages will be checked daily.

Recorded Meetings

Updates from the Middlesex District Attorney's Office 

We are committed to keeping our community partners updated with resources and tools during this time. Please click below to see updates from our team and access up-to-date information:




Middlesex County Data

End of the Year 2020

End of the Year 2021

End of the Year 2022


General Information

Massachusetts Alliance for Sober HousingThe American Society for Addiction Medicine - Promoting Support Group Attendance
Boston Medical Center - COVID-19 Recovery Resources

Massachusetts Addiction Recovery Software

Network of Care Massachusetts -  Resources in your community for children and adults with mental health and substance use needs


Network of Care Massachusetts - Massachusetts Association for Mental Health

Cost-Effective, Coordinated Care for Caregivers and Substance Exposed Newborns (C4SEN) Investment Program - Mass.gov

Behavioral Health Resources Adult Peer Support Opportunities - Free Services

  • Online Meetings
In The Rooms - A Global Recovery CommunityGamblers Anonymous
Narcotic Anonymous World ServicesWomen For Sobriety 
Alcoholics Anonymous Central Service Commitee of Eastern MassLifeRing Secular Recovery
Recovery DharmaSmart Recovery - Self-Management and Recovery Training

Marihuana Anonymous

  • Online Chat and Phone support
The Massachusetts Substance Use HelplineDepression and Bipolar Support Alliance
National Alliance on Mental IllnessSummit Behavioral Health
Well ConnectionNational Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Elliot Community Human Services7 Cups
Peer2Peer Resources for Poeple with DisabilitiesMassachusetts Emergency Services Program/Mobile Crisis Intervention (ESP/MCI)

The Massachusetts Smokers Helpline
Resources also in Spanish


  • Phone Apps

Connections App (Addiction Policy Forum ft. Chess Health)

Sober Grid

Celebrate Recovery

  • Family Support
Al-Anon Family Groups
Learn To Cope

SMART Recovery Family & Friends

In The Rooms - A Global Recovery Community
Mystic Valley Public Health Coalition
National Association of School Psychologists - 

Helping Children Cope With Changes Resulting From COVID-19


Camp Erin Boston - A FREE, weekend bereavement camp for youth who are grieving the death of a significant person in their lives
HEARTplay Program - Grief programs for children, teens, and young adults
  • Wellness - Online Classes

The Phoenix - Virtual & Live-Streamed Classes

Home Base - Clinical Operations

The Boston Bulldogs Running Club
  • Support After a Death by Overdose
SADOD provides resources, information, and assistance to people throughout Massachusetts who have been affected by the death of someone they care about from a substance-use-related cause. Our focus is on increasing the capacity and effectiveness of peer grief support for bereaved people, frontline care providers, and people in recovery or struggling with drug use. We hope you find useful tools here that meet your needs, and we welcome your feedback about how this website can be improved.

For anyone bereaved by a death from substance use

For frontline care providers
Grief Support Group Directory for peer-led groups, which allows you to search for:
  • Groups specifically focused on grief after a death from substance use
  • Those groups that are now meeting virtually (19 groups with about 25 monthly meetings in MA for substance-use grief) 
Free grief booklet (“Surviving the Grief of an Overdose Death") to addresses in Massachusetts
  • Single copies mailed to individuals
  • Multiple copies mailed to agencies or event sponsors
Peer Grief Support VOICES newsletterSubscribe here

General Public Health Information 

News Clips

Response in the Communities

New data from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health tracks opioid-related overdose deaths in the state by race, ethnicity, and gender from 2014 to 2019. The absolute number of deaths is higher among whites than among Hispanic or Black Americans, though all groups were on an upward trajectory until 2016.

Since 2016, however, the story has changed. While white fatalities have decreased through 2019, opioid overdose deaths among Black Americans — particularly Black men — are accelerating.

Law and Restrictions

On December 11, 2019, the state’s Public Health Council approved new regulations that restrict the sale of nicotine vaping and flavored vaping and tobacco products. This action follows the Legislature passing and Governor Charlie Baker signing into law An Act Modernizing Tobacco Control, which provided the Massachusetts Department of Public Health with additional authority to regulate access to tobacco and electronic nicotine delivery systems, including vapes. With the actions taken December 11th, the Governor’s temporary statewide ban on the sale of tobacco and vape products in place since September is no longer in effect.

Mental Health

Podcast - Interview with Ipsit V. Vahia, MD, author of Older Adults and the Mental Health Effects of COVID-19

Stress occurs when life events surpass your abilities to cope. It causes your body to produce greater levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

In short spurts, cortisol can boost your immunity by limiting inflammation. But over time, your body can get used to having too much cortisol in your blood. And this opens the door for more inflammation, Dr. Calabrese says.


"People who suffer from the disease of addiction are particularly vulnerable to both catching the coronavirus and having a more severe disease when they do catch it. There are many reasons for this, but they boil down to something called social determinants of health, which according to the CDC are “conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, and play [which] affect a wide range of health risks and outcomes.”"

Loneliness is a real health issue — and these steps can help save lives 

"Psychologists note the difference between living alone and loneliness. I live alone and have no family, and usually don’t think much about it. But, as the new pathogen forces us to socially distance, I have begun to feel lonely. I miss the ability to see, converse with, hug, or spend time with friends. Life seems shallower, more like survival than living."


"Executive Director Allie Hunter announces that the Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.) has partnered with the Office Based Addiction Treatment Program at Boston Medical Center, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Healthy Streets and AHOPE of Boston Public Health Commission, and three Massachusetts Sheriff’s Departments to launch a Survival Kit program to reduce the risk of overdose for those released from the Essex, Middlesex and Suffolk County House of Correction facilities in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic."

“We’re physically distancing but staying connected socially,” Moreno said. “We’re going to keep supporting our team members the best we can. We keep telling them, ‘We’re in this together.’ ”

The coronavirus has sparked innovations in care that many hope will outlast the pandemic.

"As coronavirus rapidly impinges on our daily routines, demanding this new thing called social distancing and altering habits we had not even been aware of, there are two lessons that can help us meet the challenge. The entire recovering community will benefit from learning the first lesson, and the friends and relatives of addicts might well benefit from paying attention to the second."

"At a time when overdose deaths from opioids and other drugs are rising in many states, addiction specialists worry the changes in a newly isolated America will disrupt the fragile healing process for those who rely on a robust drug-treatment support system. Albright, whose group sessions were suspended on March 11, calls it his “sober network.”"

"What happens when face-to-face meetings, a lifeline for people with addiction, are banned?"

Suicide Prevention

"The far-reaching fallout from the coronavirus pandemic has led to widespread feelings of isolation and anxiety across the nation, and prompted a surge in calls to Massachusetts’ largest suicide prevention hotline, officials said."


Guns During COVID-19 

VA has released the Safe Firearm Storage Toolkit, which was developed in partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry. The toolkit guides communities through the process of building coalitions to raise awareness about safe storage practices.

According to the analysis, an estimated 4.6 million American children reside in a household where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked. The study’s authors also determined that the share of child-rearing gun owners who don’t secure all their firearms has nearly tripled since the last time similar research was conducted.

As COVID-19 has upended everyone’s day-to-day routines, anxiety has rushed to fill the void, be it fear of losing one’s job or stockpiling toilet paper. Even in Massachusetts, home to some of the nation’s strictest firearm laws, others say they’re weighing something else: whether to buy — or trying to buy — a gun for the first time in this uneasy reality.

Widespread economic strain, a surge in firearm sales, and social distancing could have grave consequences for victims of intimate partner abuse, experts warn



Combining emergency medical services and vital statistics data, a new study led by researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine provides a unique view of the opioid overdose epidemic in an urban area. The study identifies neighborhoods with the highest risk of overdose and other drug-related disorders, as well as supports efforts for targeted public health interventions