Selectmen express frustration at lack of resources to fight opioid addiction
Selectman Patrick Tropeano said he wished he had known about and attended the opioid addiction vigil on Nov. 29 and expressed his frustration at the lack of resources Wareham has to help those struggling with addiction.
Tropeano said he “certainly would have gone” to the vigil in Besse Park if he had known about it. Wareham Fighting Against Addiction officially opened a drop-in center for those struggling with opioid addiction and for their families on Nov. 29 and kicked off the center's opening with a vigil to honor those who have died from an opioid overdose.
“Everybody knows I’m big on that whole thing,” he said at Tuesday’s Selectmen meeting. “This is a huge deal.” Tropeano has eight children and said every time someone in town passes away due to an opioid overdose, it brings tears to his eyes.
But he said it’s hard to help rehabilitate addicts with the lack of funds the town has.
“Without money, there’s not much you can do,” he said. “It’s a really difficult situation and I don’t know that anybody’s listening, because people are dying all across the country and nothing is changing.”
As of Nov. 29, Wareham Police Chief Kevin Walsh said there have been 166 reported opioid overdoses in Wareham this year.
Chairman Peter Teitelbaum agreed that Wareham lacks facilities and staff to help addicts recover.
“We just don’t have the resources, we never will,” Teitelbaum said. “It needs to be a federal issue.”
People need to hold prescribers and drug companies accountable, Tropeano said.
“It’s a lot of conversation but nothing concrete,” he said.