Rep. DiZoglio Secures $20,000 for Valley Anti-Drug Program

State Rep. Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) has secured $20,000 for the Merrimack Valley Prevention and Substance Abuse Project (MVPASAP) for resources, programs and community outreach.

MVPASAP was formed in 2013 to bring members of the community together, including experts on drug addiction issues and elected officials, to address substance abuse prevention, education, treatment and recovery.

“I can’t stress just how much we appreciate the work Rep. DiZoglio has done for MVPASAP,” said Methuen resident Phil Lahey, co-founder of MVPASAP. “We have great volunteers who have been doing quite a bit with little to no funding and, with these funds, we will be able to give these dedicated people a chance to start putting their ideas into practice, when it comes to awareness, prevention and education.”

MVPASAP, which now regularly holds public meetings in Methuen, was launched in response to the heroin epidemic that has ravaged the Merrimack Valley, with record-high numbers of police logs and obituaries noting fatal overdoses of the drug.

“This funding is an absolutely beautiful thing,” said Colleen Lahey, daughter of Phil and a former heroin addict. “Heroin addiction is the most powerful and dangerous disease I have ever dealt with and any funding to go toward addressing this problem is wonderful. Thank you Rep. DiZoglio for making it happen.”

“This is a community-wide issue and needs a community-wide solution,” said Anne Whalen, Methuen YMCA Executive Director and MVPASAP Youth Committee Chair. “This funding will enable MVPASAP to provide more awareness and education on substance abuse prevention, and have a greater impact in the Merrimack Valley.”

“We at MVPASAP are working hard to bring awareness and education to people across the Merrimack Valley,” said Al Ruthazer, board member of MVPASAP. “We are also trying to provide resources and information for those with substance abuse challenges and family members. Financial help is so appreciated.”

“Addressing addiction in our communities has been an overriding focus of mine during my time as state representative,” said DiZoglio, who serves on the legislature’s Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse. “I have had countless conversations with residents in my district and across the Merrimack Valley who have either struggled with substance abuse themselves or have friends or family who have battled addiction. I am so grateful to Phil Lahey for helping to launch this amazing group, as well as House Ways and Means Chairman Brian Dempsey (D-Haverhill) for his support and leadership in helping to fight for these funds.”

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2 Comments

  1. Duncan Burns said:

    “needs a community-wide solution” –

    ALL which have failed miserably, especially “the war on drugs”.

    Either legalize it all and REGULATE it, and possibly harbor locations where using can be done safely, or watch more people die. The government is not going to help, Cartels have taken over our entire country with unfettered distribution (see borders), they are simply meeting the DEMAND. Unfortunately, the SUPPLY is tainted, usually with fentanyl (which Cartels can manufacture), adding to the destruction. If drugs, like alcohol, are legalized and regulated, then just like alcohol, you at least know what is in the product before you buy it. It may still do you harm, just like alcohol, but at least you won’t die right away from a bad dose.

    In the meantime, keep the decades of failed policy going by throwing more money at it, usually sucked up by political connected cronies. No need to actually think differently when the status quo is still so widely accepted (i.e. throw everyone in prison, money is the solution). The Drug Cartels will be happy with the failed policies as they will simply continue to profit from Americans insatiable appetite to use drugs. Pharmaceutical companies won’t like this either, as competition would drive down PRICE of drugs. Since those drug manufacturers have actually surpassed Wall Street by way of campaign donations, like Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, the drug company’s biggest bag-man, don’t expect their monopoly status to be broken anytime soon. Legalization would probably also mean a hit to GDP, as failed drug policy keeps people employed (i.e. courts, police, social welfare agencies).

    Enjoy more death and destruction, because that’s exactly what is going to continue to happen.

    Profits > People

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