Daily News

Cocchi Announces Opioid Grant Funding

Sheriff Nick Cocchi announced recently that the Hampden County Sheriff’s Department received $188,837 from the state for diversion of individuals suffering from substance use to keep them out of jail and into treatment.

This grant is part of the Baker administration awarding $2.3 million in a second round of competitive federal grants designed to help sheriffs, and other criminal justice agencies strengthen and enhance efforts to combat heroin and opioid abuse in Massachusetts, including prevention, intervention, diversion, enforcement and treatment.

“I am pleased to receive this much-needed funding which we will use to increase recovery bed space in the community as well as provide case management for these afflicted individuals,” said Cocchi.

“We all know the toll on citizens in our cities and towns,” he went on. “We are now losing five people every day due to this opioid crisis. This funding will prevent many individuals suffering from substance use from coming to jail, by diverting them into intensive treatment thus avoiding costly jail time. This will save lives and allow these individuals to get on track to being successful, productive members of our communities.”

The number of confirmed cases of all opioid-related overdose deaths for 2016 was 1,933. This figure represents a 17% increase over confirmed cases in 2015 of1651 and a 42% increase over 2014.