How is the opioid crisis in Boston impacting you, and what needs to be done? Share with us.

We want to hear about what you are experiencing in your neighborhood.

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 30, 2019: Shanita (no last name- we were told it is Boston Public Health Commission policy) a coordinator for the AHOPE Sharps team passes a person sleeping in Clifford Playground while looking for discarded needles in Boston, MA on August 30, 2019. (AHOPE -  Access Harm reduction Overdose Prevention Education is part of the Boston Public Health Commission)  (Data shows 311 calls on sharps has TRIPLED in three years. To combat the crisis and conflict at Mass and Cass, the city is now turning its attention to collecting these sharps, amid other efforts including training city workers on how to use Narcan.)  (Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff) section: Metro reporter:
Shanita, a coordinator for the Access Harm reduction Overdose Prevention Education (AHOPE), passes a person sleeping in Clifford Playground while looking for discarded needles in Boston on August 30, 2019. –Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

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.” 

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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 community@boston.com.

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