The city of New Bedford is flexing its caring muscles this week with a flood of support and services for those struggling with substance use.
The push is being made through the Greater New Bedford Opioid Task Force led by task force co-chairs, New Bedford Police Chief Joseph Cordeiro and Public Health Director Damon Chaplin.
The two posted a video of their message on Facebook yesterday explaining the need and what they hope to accomplish.
Chief Cordeiro said the timing is due to the substantial fentanyl bust which took place last week when New Bedford police seized 7.2 kilograms or nearly 16 pounds of the synthetic opioid substance. That amount had the capacity to kill 3 million people, he said, citing the DEA.
It is the largest fentanyl bust in the history of the department, Cordeiro said.
Removing that amount of product from city streets could impact those who suffer from addiction, Cordeiro and Chaplin said in the video.
“As a result we’re going to make sure that the people of New Bedford have the resources necessary, especially for those who are dealing with substance use or substance misuse,” said Chaplin. “We have several services here in New Bedford: Clean Slate, the Community Health Center, PAACA, so we’re going to make sure that those resources are available.”
The Opioid Task Force is also launching a social media blitz this week to get the message out there and make sure anyone in need knows where and how to access services. They are directing people to the website of the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline to find resources and get help.
You can help support the campaign and those with addictions by sharing the message and information using the hashtag #NBCares.
Go here to watch the video. The message begins about 17 seconds in.