Selectmen express frustration at lack of resources to fight opioid addiction

By Lydia Goerner | Dec 05, 2017

Selectman Patrick Tropeano said he wished he had known about and attended the opioid addiction vigil on Nov. 29 and expressed his frustration at the lack of resources Wareham has to help those struggling with addiction.

Tropeano said he “certainly would have gone” to the vigil in Besse Park if he had known about it. Wareham Fighting Against Addiction officially opened a drop-in center for those struggling with opioid addiction and for their families on Nov. 29 and kicked off the center's opening with a vigil to honor those who have died from an opioid overdose.

“Everybody knows I’m big on that whole thing,” he said at Tuesday’s Selectmen meeting. “This is a huge deal.” Tropeano has eight children and said every time someone in town passes away due to an opioid overdose, it brings tears to his eyes.

But he said it’s hard to help rehabilitate addicts with the lack of funds the town has.

“Without money, there’s not much you can do,” he said. “It’s a really difficult situation and I don’t know that anybody’s listening, because people are dying all across the country and nothing is changing.”

As of Nov. 29, Wareham Police Chief Kevin Walsh said there have been 166 reported opioid overdoses in Wareham this year.

Chairman Peter Teitelbaum agreed that Wareham lacks facilities and staff to help addicts recover.

“We just don’t have the resources, we never will,” Teitelbaum said. “It needs to be a federal issue.”

People need to hold prescribers and drug companies accountable, Tropeano said.

“It’s a lot of conversation but nothing concrete,” he said.

Click here for more on the drop-in center and vigil.

Comments (28)
Posted by: wtbarber | Dec 05, 2017 22:39

It's no secret who's dealing in this town.  If you guys are serious about stopping the problem, deal with it and stop looking the other way.  The entire community needs to get together, stop making excuses and decide enough is enough.

We should cut the selectman some slack b/c has been busy on more important issues like fighting train whistles with our tax money.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Dec 06, 2017 08:06

"People need to hold prescribers and drug companies accountable Tropeano said."   I see no mention of the judges that release the dealers back on to the street to sell more nor do I see mention of the democrats that put these liberal judges in place. Both are just as responsible as the dealers for this epidemic. The police can only do so much. The dealers must be locked up and sent away on murder charges because that is what it is. When the courts treat dealers as the killers they are, there will be results.  It doesn't take money it takes action

Posted by: wtbarber | Dec 06, 2017 13:57

Out of the 166 reported opioid overdoses in wareham, how many of these were from prescription pills?  I'm going to guess ZERO.  Addicts may have started from prescription meds, but heroin and fentanyl is most likely the cause of these overdoses.  Heroin and fentanyl aren't coming from "prescribers" or prescription drug companies.  They get mixed and distributed by your neighborhood dealers.

Posted by: wtbarber | Dec 06, 2017 14:03

We may not have the resources/dollars to provide addicts with treatment, but we should focus on what we "can do " rather than making excuses.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Dec 07, 2017 09:45

Save your crocodile tears Mr. Tropeano. Chief Walsh was there. The vigil was announced in this paper, and maybe you missed the 2000+ flags in Besse Park. Middleboro Matters and Carver Cares aren't waiting for "federal" money. You had the big splashy photo of the selectman and the Plymouth County coalition announcing funding. Then nothing. Infuriating.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Dec 07, 2017 15:53

"POSTED BY: PETER W. TEITELBAUM | Nov 30, 2017 18:51

Momof2, Selectmen Tropeano and Slavin have been extremely active in the effort to fight opioid abuse and promote treatment for addiction (Selectman Tropeano at the local and regional levels along with Chief Walsh, and Selectman Slavin at the state level in his several roles in the Massachusetts Municipal Association). At our next meeting, I will be sure to instruct them both to start blowing their own horns to drown out this sort of noise."

They are blowing something alright, right at us. There is money, there is talent. There is help, but not for Wareham.

Look at who is involved in Middleboro Matters and Carver Cares. Everyone from every department and private groups working together. What do we have in common with those two towns? The 2nd Plymouth District State Rep, who has brought us nothing.

Community Collaborative: Middleborough Matters is a substance abuse prevention coalition helping Middleborough mobilize and take action. Mission: Working to mobilize our communities to strategically prevent and reduce substance use and abuse among youth and adults. Goals:Our goals are to provide primary, secondary and tertiary substance abuse prevention resources, education, and increase awareness.

Why aren't we in the Plymouth Cluster?

Why aren't we getting grant funding from MassTAPP?

CARA Grants?


What is the Health Department Director doing about getting something, anything, going here? Oh, a for-profit methadone clinic for after-the-fact.

The whining has to end at Town Hall. Somebody with some vision has to take the reigns, people are dying right here, right now.

Posted by: momof2 | Dec 07, 2017 19:30

Wow!! All the town's problems have been solved right here in the WW comment section by ALLTOGETHER, who likes to claim she's making a difference but instead tells everybody that they are doing everything wrong and bulldozes anyone who DARES to disagree with her!!! SUCH A WONDERFUL PERSON. 

If she hates this place so much WHY DOES SHE LIVE HERE???

[Edited because I care about TOGETHER’s children, though the statement had nothing at all to do with them.....]


Posted by: WWreader | Dec 08, 2017 02:59

Take a look at the Carver Cares site. Fancy site that clearly states it is run by a community group of volunteers. Yet altogether states everyone from every department is working together. No municipal contact numbers or sites. Facts win every time. Wareham is trying.

Posted by: Phredzzz | Dec 08, 2017 08:04

WTBARBER is RIGHT. Anyone with a pair of eyes and ears knows exactly where the problem is in Wareham. It is NOT a secret who the Dealers are in this town. The problem has existed forever. I remember when I first came to Town over 30 years ago and within a week, somone had mentioned to me that the most accessible Dealer in Town was selling right out of a Gas Station on Main St. That Dealer was reported to the authorities over 50 times and to my knowledge, was never busted. So, to the Town Politicians who want to pretend that they care about the longstanding Drug problems in Wareham. Get off your asses and do something. If you dont know how to find and Bust the Dealers, ask any 15 year old in town and they will tell you EXACTLY where to make a Buy.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Dec 08, 2017 08:56

Momof2 you are bordering on defamation. Time to identify yourself and not hide and throw grenades.

I have made a home in Onset for myself and my children and will work to make it better. You are a coward.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Dec 08, 2017 09:02

WWreader please explain exactly how Wareham (Town, not volunteers) is trying. Truly.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Dec 08, 2017 09:24

This is what trying and collaboration actually look like. Wareham "leadership" is whining not leading. I can't attach a file here, but the Middleboro Matters Steering Committee, from their flyer given out at the Drop In, is: Jeffery Begin, Brewster Ambulance

Lance Benjamino, Fire Chief

Lorna Brunelle, Business Owner

Amanda Decker, Lighthouse Church

Amy Dow, Cranberry Catholic Collaborative

Danielle Jameson, Asst Principal, MHS

Brian Lynch, Superintendent of Schools

Sharon Matthews, community member and parent activist

Robert Nunes, Town Manager

Susan Okolita, Exec. Dir YMCA

Joseph Perkins, Chief of Police

Merielle Paul, Plymouth Area Substance Abuse Collaborative

Andrea Priest, Executive Director, Middleboro Council on Aging

Gregory Thomas, Asst Principal, Nicols Middle School

Gregory Trask, Police School Resource Officer

Richard Young, Chairman, Middleboro School Committee

Posted by: barnstorm | Dec 08, 2017 09:43

One of the most ludicrous posts to date concerning this subject had to be from the commenter who blamed the lack of funds on the passage of "Prop 2 1/2". Poor Barbara Anderson taking a hit by more liberal nonsense. Did you know that Massachusetts has more outstanding debt per capita than all of the fifty States. $76 billion in debt, which translates to $11,379 per person in the Commonwealth. That happened because of the spending on Beacon Hill, not Prop 2 1/2! So, we can't expect to be granted any "monopoly"money from the State or Fed. for that's $20 trillion in the red and counting. We've been throwing billions into the war on drugs for decades and it's gotten worse. Wish I had an answer or solution. I don't. All I know is that just throwing money at problems do not work.  Look at what has happened to the  public education system in this country. If education is one of your solutions, then it starts in your own home.

Posted by: momof2 | Dec 08, 2017 09:57

TOGETHER — I am not throwing grenades! I’ve formed my opinion based on YOUR PUBLIC BEHAVIOR. Speaking of doing, what are you DOING other than complaining that the selectmen aren’t doing enough??? I again commend you for getting narcan training. This is bigger than our town. If we want anything done we need state resources and yes that’s my opinion.

Posted by: momof2 | Dec 08, 2017 09:59

I am also concerned about how quickly dealers are getting released from jail if they get jail time at all. I wohld love to know how to impact change there.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Dec 08, 2017 10:00

Momof2 I am not here to "blow my own horn."

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Dec 08, 2017 10:06

Barnstorm it is Momof2 who recently discovered Prop 2 1/2 and became our resident expert.

Posted by: WWreader | Dec 08, 2017 10:34

Onsettogether, I don't need you to educate me. I only pointed out the fact that Carver Cares website shows no connection to any municipal departments where you claimed EVERY department was involved. I notice your "education" of me and momof2 only included Middleborough. I never mentioned that town. You seem to be unhappy with your choice of moving to Wareham. Perhaps you should have educated yourself on the town's budget woes, school system, water departments etc before you moved in.

Posted by: momof2 | Dec 08, 2017 12:03

Since I am a reasonable person... even though you have no case legally... I will remove that part of my comment. For the sake of your children. Guess I stuck a nerve.


Perhaps you’ll do the same with your own comment about how I “gratefully” don’t have more than two? Or is that fair game???

Posted by: wtbarber | Dec 08, 2017 12:05

SphereBreaker - You might be interested in this news story.

Anyone know how many deaths occurred from the 166 overdoses?

Posted by: BeachLover | Dec 08, 2017 12:06

Sorry you missed it.  Church of good Shepherd has group gathering and has been busy for months to see what town opinions are on this matter.  They have a drop in center and will be have more meetings.  I can send info if wanted

Posted by: wtbarber | Dec 08, 2017 12:07

Posted by: wtbarber | Dec 08, 2017 12:07

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Dec 08, 2017 12:08

WWreader isn’t that like when you buy a house within earshot of a train track, don’t complain about the whistle?

Posted by: Archangel | Dec 08, 2017 17:52

I have to say that I think the Selectmen have enough on their plates. Yes, they can help raise awareness and yes, they would be remiss if they were to turn a blind eye to the issue but, I don't think that they are. I think they care just as much as anyone else; however, they are not law enforcement and are struggling with keeping basic essential services. If there are groups out there that have the time and energy to invest in this difficult problem, then they should tackle it head on. But, I really don't think  that anyone should place this national epidemic at the feet of the Selectmen.

Posted by: wtbarber | Dec 09, 2017 07:56

Fair or not the epidemic is at the feet of the busy selectmen and everyone else in this town.  WE need to deal with it with the resources WE have now.  The problem isn't getting better.  Dealing out in open areas (Onset Village Market, Both Cumberland Farms, Etc) is openly visible all day everyday.  Like it or not the problem is at our feet.  What are we going to do? What priority do we assign to the issue?     I'm getting awful tired of seeing thugs openly deal without consequence and good people dying from addiction.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Dec 10, 2017 10:39

December 20, 5-9 PM, is the next info session and drop-in at Church of the Good Shepherd (near Tobey Hospital). Talk to the volunteers on the front lines, bring them some cookies, get Narcan training & free Narcan and sharps containers. These are folks walking the talk and they deserve all of our support.

Posted by: wtbarber | Dec 15, 2017 15:14



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