The City of Bristol’s newly formed Opioid Task Force met for the second time April 27 to continue identifying community needs. Comprised of over 25 members representing the city’s various health care providers, people in recovery, parents, and representatives from various city departments, the group built on the identification of issues from the first meeting.
“There were five major policy areas that the Committee discussed in the second meeting,” stated Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu who facilitated the session.
“These areas will continue to be broken down and best practices identified. The other goal is to continually monitor what is happening at the state level, professional associations, as well as in other communities so there is no time wasted re-inventing the wheel.”
In the Education and Prevention circle, the group discussed the need to integrate education and prevention into school curriculum and when sports injuries occur; the urgency to increase medical professionals to use the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program to detect abuse or fraudulent use of prescriptions among patients, as well as prevention strategies.
“There are thousands of pain prescriptions written in Bristol each year,” stated Dr. Glen Palmisano, a local chiropractor.
“The education needs to start here at home.”
Police Chief Brian Gould also reminded the group about the role of the Police department in the wake of a large drug bust of fentanyl and heroin the day before.
“The City’s anonymous Tip Line (860-585-TIPS) is monitored by the department’s Narcotics Unit and citizens are encouraged to report suspicious drug activity. It’s also important for the public to know that most investigations are not done overnight and involve detailed background, undercover and surveillance work.”