Churches React to Nation’s Opioid Epidemic as Overdoses Increase (Video)

First Churches of Northampton and Edwards Church of Northampton receive Narcan training. (Heather Adams | Hadams@masslive.com)
First Churches of Northampton and Edwards Church of Northampton receive Narcan training. (Heather Adams | Hadams@masslive.com)

As the opioid epidemic continues, police officers are commonly finding drug users overdosing in cars, libraries, in the bathroom of fast-food restaurants and, even, churches. 

In 2012, Christ Church Cambridge began having a problem with people dealing and overdosing in their bathrooms, according to The Boston Globe. It was one of few public restrooms in Harvard Square.

Although, there was a need for a public restroom, the church couldn’t justify keeping it open.

“We weren’t medically equipped or educated to handle overdoses, and we were desperately afraid we were going to have something happen that was way out of our reach,” The Rev. Joseph O. Robinson, rector of the church, Christ Church Cambridge, told the New York Times.

Churches have had a long history with being meeting spaces for Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous or other recovery group meetings.

Michael McSherry, minister of Edwards Church of Northampton, was recently contacted by the District Attorney’s office to ask if they’d host recovery groups. They welcomed the group with open arms. The church also hosts a free dinner and he recognizes that sometimes people come that are high.

“Fortunately, nobody has ever passed out, but it’s feasible,” McSherry said. He said the next step is getting all of his staff and the staff that runs the free dinners to a Narcan training.

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SOURCE: MassLive
Heather Adams

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