The opioid crisis in Boston is coming under renewed focus in recent weeks as South End and Roxbury residents call for action from local officials.
The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated a crisis that had already been raging in the city for years. In the area surrounding Mass. Ave. and Melnea Cass Boulevard, Mayor Marty Walsh recently said “we have to get it better under control,” according to The Boston Globe. Attorney General Maura Healey launched a new grant program providing more support to inclusive recovery programs for communities of color. Advocates warned in the early days of the pandemic that people struggling with substance abuse were “going to be severely impacted.”
For some Boston residents and businesses who are seeing these impacts everyday in their neighborhoods, not enough is being done. From open drug use, improperly discarded needles, and human feces on public and private property, residents are experiencing multiple issues in their communities related to the crisis. A petition launched two weeks ago by South End and Roxbury residents called for Gov. Charlie Baker to address the unsafe and inhumane conditions of people suffering from addiction and homelessness in the “Mass. and Cass” area where treatment services and access to facilities are harder to come by amid the pandemic.
So we want to know: How is the crisis impacting you and what actions should elected officials take to address the issue? Do you live or work near Mass. and Cass or in a neighborhood impacted by substance abuse and homelessness? What has your experience been like? Please share your thoughts in the survey below and we may feature your responses in an upcoming Boston.com article. If you would like to share photos of what you’re seeing, you can send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.