The Office of Malden Mayor Gary Christenson recently announced the creation of an Opioid Task Force, formed to help the City of Malden battle the opioid “epidemic within a pandemic.”
The Task Force will meet regularly and will use data and research to help inform the way the City can better educate residents about opioid use and addiction, help raise the awareness of recovery services available, and serve as a platform for residents who want to publicly or anonymously support the work of the Task Force.
The City of Malden has seen a persistent number of drug overdoses and fatalities over the past few years, with a sudden increase over the past several months. Although trending demographic data suggests that Caucasian males in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s are the group most likely to overdose and succumb to opioid abuse in Malden, no single group has been left unscathed by the opioid problem. According to Mayor Christenson the Task Force was formed “due to the troubling rise in drug overdoses and fatalities among our residents” and the need to take an “all-hands on deck approach” to help eradicate the problem.
Task Force membership includes Mayor Gary Christenson, Police Chief Kevin Molis, Fire Chief William Sullivan, Malden’s Recovery Resource Specialist Paul Hammersley, School Committee Member Adam Weldai, City Councilor Barbara Murphy, Data Specialist for the Malden Police David Ritchie, Malden Overcoming Addiction Board Member Dana Brown, and Gerry Whetstone, Pastor of the Nazarene Church of Malden and director of the Malden Warming Center.
Under the leadership of Mayor Christenson, the City of Malden has taken critical steps over the past couple of years to provide prevention services as well as support and recovery services for anyone battling addiction or at risk of being impacted by someone using drugs. The City of Malden has supported a fulltime Addiction Recovery Resource Specialist in the budget since 2019 and recently worked with local and state leaders to help bring the Bridge Recovery Center to Malden.
For more information on how to support the work of the Task Force please contact Paul Hammersley at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 781-838-2203.