FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contact: Mallory Strain 978-228-1233 | firstname.lastname@example.org
THURSDAY, JUNE 29th – BOSTON – On Thursday, June 29th Representative Vargas will co-host the Brian Donaghue Simpson Naloxone Training and Advocacy Day at the Massachusetts State House. Vargas will host the event alongside Representatives Kate Donaghue, Smitty Pignatelli, and Senator John Keenan. The event will train attendees on how to administer naloxone (commonly known as brand name Narcan) and will feature Stephen Murray, Harm Reduction Program Manager at Boston Medic
al Center’s Grayken Center for Addiction Training and Technical Training. The training will be held in memory of Brian Donaghue Simpson, son of Representative Kate Donaghue, who passed away from an overdose in 2018, at age 32. Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll and Health and Human Services Secretary Kate Walsh will be attending and offering remarks alongside Representative Marjorie Decker, House Chair of the Public Health Committee. Last week, Massachusetts DPH released data showing more people in Massachusetts have died from opioid overdose than any year on record. The report showed that more than 6 people died per day on average. Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose. The event will be held for interested legislators and staff.
Vargas is the House sponsor of multiple bills focused on addressing the opioid crisis, including legislation to require patients with opioid use disorder to be discharged from rehab facilities with at least two doses of naloxone. Each of the event hosts sponsor bills to expand naloxone use and availability.
“We learned last week that more people in Massachusetts died from opioids in 2022 than any year prior. This staggering fact weighs heavily on all of us and our communities. A simple training on how to administer naloxone could mean saving someone’s life and giving them a chance at recovery. Everyone should know how to administer naloxone. I’m so proud to have partnered with my colleagues and with Boston Medical Center on this crucial event.” – State Representative Andy Vargas, (D-Haverhill.)
“The opioid epidemic continues to devastate communities, neighborhoods, and families in every corner of the Commonwealth and country,” said Pignatelli. “We cannot overstate the importance of equipping everyone with naloxone and ensuring that any of us – on any given day – are prepared to respond in an emergency situation. I am proud to partner with my great colleagues in the House and Senate, and with Boston Medical Center, to bring this educational and necessary program to the State House.” - State Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox)
“Naloxone is already cheap, effective, and easy to use. Now the goals are getting more people familiar with this treatment and making sure it is commonly available. Increasing access and familiarity will not just help further reduce stigma but also reverse potentially fatal overdoses.” - Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy)