Letters to the Editor

January 29, 2017
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Naloxone can save a life

Dear Editor:

The use of Naloxone can save a life.  Naloxone, also known as Narcan is an opioid antagonist used in opioid overdoses to counteract the life-threatening depression of the respiratory system. It allows an overdose victim to breathe normally.

Although traditionally administered by emergency response personnel, naloxone can be administered by lay people or public, making it ideal for treating heroin and other opioids overdoses. The training is simple and use of Naloxone results in a life saved.

Here is what occurs in an opioid overdose. When too much of any opioid, like heroin goes into too many receptors, the respiratory system slows and the person breathes more slowly, then not at all.  Because Naloxone basically knocks the opioids out of the opiate receptors in the brain, the overdose is reversed and the person is able to breathe again.

However, it is a temporary drug that will wear off in 30-90 minutes and the person should be watched for signs of continued overdose. The overdose victim must seek medical assistance or call 911.

Lack of oxygen from opioid overdose may lead to brain injury in as little as 4 minutes, yet the average EMS response time is 9.4 minutes. Seconds can count during an opioid overdose so it is vital if you have a loved one or friends who use, you need to have a plan in place. Most life threatening opioid emergencies occur in the home, witnessed by friends or family.

Brand names of Naloxone are Evzio, Narcan injection, Narcan Nasal Spray.  They all come with simple, lifesaving directions and are easy to administer. Upon purchase, read and know how to use these devices and keep them readily available.

Some states have a third-party law where a concerned parent, employee or nurse at a school can obtain Naloxone and administer it without facing legal repercussions (known as the good Samaritan act).  If you come in contact with a high-risk individual, you should have this lifesaving overdose antidote.

For more information and the availability of naloxone, go to  http://www.narcononnewliferetreat.org/blog/naloxone-availability.html .  If you are in need of a referral to a treatment center, call us at 1- 800-431-1754.

 Ray Clauson

Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center values special relationships

Dear Editor:

The Revere Office of Elder Affairs/Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center has a very close-knit relationship with three very key agencies that are dedicated to serving seniors. We also have a strong connection with the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Mystic Valley Elder Services, and the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors (MCOA). This was established when I first became director over three years ago. Each one has assisted Revere seniors in so many ways. We are thankful for such a strong connection to these invaluable partners.

The Executive Office of Elder Affairs (“Elder Affairs”) provides services locally via Aging Services Access Points (ASAP) such as Mystic Valley Elder Services, Councils on Aging (COA) and senior centers in communities across the Commonwealth. This network reaches out to elders in need of services that include home care and caregiver support, nutrition programs, protective services, health and wellness services, housing options, SHINE counseling (Serving the Health Information Needs of Elders), or counseling services for elders with limited English proficiency. There are so many options for seniors in Massachusetts and in Revere.

The Executive Office of Elder Affairs and those involved in the elder network are passionate about their work to allow all people to age with independence and dignity. Elder Affairs holds steadfast to its mission of promoting the integrity, rights and independence of all seniors and their caregivers. Their mission is to support the right of elders and adults living with disabilities to live independently and with dignity in a setting of their own choice, by providing information, advice, and access to quality resources and services.

Mystic Valley Elder Services, our aging services access point through the elder services network of the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, has several core values:  empowering people by providing quality choices, offering professional, compassionate care, encouraging excellence and innovation, recruiting, supporting, and retaining the best staff and volunteers, embracing diversity, fostering collaborations with consumers, professionals, and organizations, expecting individual responsibility within a team environment.

The Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging and Senior Center Directors is a non-profit membership organization comprised of municipal Councils on Aging. Their mission is to support the independence of adults 60 and older by advocating for programs and services to meet their needs, promote the growth and quality of Councils on Aging and senior centers and strengthen the professional skills of Council on Aging staff. Established in 1979, the Massachusetts Association of Councils On Aging & Senior Center Directors was formed to:

  • Improve the quality of services provided to older adults of the Commonwealth by the Councils on Aging, Senior Centers, and other social services providers within the Commonwealth
  • Educate and otherwise improve the skills of the staff of Councils on Aging and Senior Centers of cities and towns of the Commonwealth
  • Encourage and promote the development of new Senior Centers in the Commonwealth and the expansion of existing ones
  • To do and perform any and all acts and services that may be incidental or necessary to carry out the above purposes.

All of you readers should know we at the Rossetti-Cowan Senior Center are aligned with each of these agencies’ philosophy, goals, and mission statements. Their assistance is invaluable and friendships greatly sppreciated.

Stephen W. Fielding

On Moratoriums

Dear Editor:

Monday night at the Revere Council meeting I was challenged about a Moratorium on construction. It seems to me the majority of councillors are ill informed on moratoriums, or they simply forget their history.

Several years back, the City of Revere faced the prospect of Caddy Farms in North Revere being turned into affordable housing. This is a 30-acre site in North Revere abutting Weylu’s.

Most councillors don’t know it’s there; many never heard of it, and some probably forgot of its existence. Yet at one time, it was center stage to develop hundreds of affordable homes and loomed heavy on the former Mayor Tom Ambrosino administration.

During this period, many councillors such as Jessica Giannino, Patrick Keefe, and Bob Haas Jr. were not involved on the Council. It was a time when Mark Casella was president of the Council and the late George Colella was still a powerful force in Revere politics.

We were all uneasy with the possible flood of traffic and students from three-bedroom apartments in North Revere. That said, we thought a moratorium would work. Like most communities when you file a moratorium on residential construction, you also file for a moratorium on affordable housing. This is not only common knowledge for those who have been involved in these issues in the past, but also common sense.

Moreover why would you allow one contractor to develop residential properties and not the other? Surely the Revere City Councillors are smarter than that; Yet again, last night I was told by councillors that a moratorium would not have stopped the construction of a 40b project in the Point of Pines for 70-plus units.

Folks, this is just not true.

If we had submitted our moratorium to the State for all aspects of residential development for a six-month period, we might have stopped what’s taking place in the Pines. But because no moratorium was drafted, and I was blocked in my attempts four times due to short sightedness or lack of knowledge, there is no moratorium now.

Now we will likely be stuck with 70 units that will overshadow an entire neighborhood.

Councillor George

 Rotondo

 

Power of Action Pledge  and Resources for Families

Dear Editor,

This past November and December we once again visited the schools in Revere to ask parents to pledge to have a conversation with their kids about not using drugs and alcohol.

The research shows that when parents play a positive influence and kids know drug or alcohol use would disappoint them, they are less likely to use these substances.

That’s why it is so important that parents build a strong relationship with their kids and talk to them about substance abuse — the earlier the better!

While we remind parents to have this conversation once a year, it is important to talk to them often. You can keep the conversation brief. Be willing to listen to what you child has to say and ask what they know, how they feel, and what they think about the issue.

You are not alone; this year, 794 Revere parents signed the pledge saying they would talk to their kids about not using drugs and alcohol.

For more tips on how to talk to your kids and what to say go to the npc.org

Since recreational marijuana is coming to our state, we also prepared a handout for parents on this topic, it includes the following information:

“TALK TO YOUTH ABOUT MARIJUANA TO HELP THEM BETTER UNDERSTAND THE RISKS

Listen carefully and stay positive. Keep the conversation open so they can come to you with questions. Knowing they can ask you questions helps youth make good decisions for their future.

What you talk about may depend on how old they are.

TALK ABOUT HOW MARIJUANA DAMAGES THEIR GROWING BRAINS

  • Marijuana can make it harder to learn, sometimes weeks after quitting.
  • Problems with learning increase as more marijuana is used.
  • Youths who start using marijuana are more likely to become addicted in the future.

Encourage youth to protect their brains by not using marijuana.

TALK ABOUT HOW MARIJUANA CAN GET IN THE WAY OF THEIR GOALS

Ask about their dreams and help them connect with what they need to achieve them.

Be honest. Explain how doing well in school and staying out of trouble can help them reach their goals.

Talk about how marijuana can get youth in trouble:

  • Breaking family and community rules: Set clear rules for youth. Share that younger siblings and neighbors see them as role models, so they should not use marijuana.
  • Breaking school or after school activity rules: Youth may be referred for drug counseling, suspended, expelled or be removed from high school sponsored activities.
  • Breaking federal laws: Since marijuana is still illegal outside of Massachusetts, youth with marijuana charges may not get financial aid to help pay for college. “

We would like to thank our community volunteers and staff who went with us to the schools to talk to parents:

Pastor Tim Bogart

Kathleen Heiser

Carol Tye

Carol Smith

Amy O’Malley

Megan Fidler Carey

Julia Newhall

Jen Duggan

Kelly Washburn

Bonny Carol

YrlenYsasis

Jonina Gorenstein

Kenia Maldonado

Nicole Silvestri

Andie Janota

Jean Sasso

Sylvia Chiang

Viviana Catano

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