History

The Numbers

As of January 2019

  • On average, 130 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose
  • 11.4 million people in the US misused prescription medications
  • 2.1 million people had an opioid use disorder
  • 47,600 people died from overdosing on opioids
  • 2 million people misused prescription opioids for the first time
  • 81,000 people used heroin for the first time

US Department of Health and Human Services

THE CRISIS

The current opioid crisis first began in the 1990s, spurred on by the increased legal use of prescription medications, which can be traced back to the pharmaceutical industry. Beginning around 1996, the pharmaceutical industry began marketing Oxycontin as a miracle painkiller that could be prescribed and taken daily without the risk of addiction or abuse. This crisis silently grew through opioids pushed by the pharmaceutical industry, physicians overprescribing opioids, government officials’ inaction while overdose deaths drastically increased, and law enforcement’s continued use of traditional law enforcement investigative efforts towards drug use. All the while, community advocates’ pleas for help went unheeded. This crisis has evolved through three waves with a fourth wave upon us attributed to the increased polysubstance use (particularly methamphetamine and/or cocaine mixed with fentanyl), along with continued overwhelming fentanyl use.

DATA TRENDS

Three Waves of Opioid Deaths
National Drug Overdose Deaths: by Gender
National Drug Overdose Deaths: by Drug Type
Opioid deaths
Prescriptions per 100 people
Federal Funding for Combating Crisis

OUR HISTORY

Community Services Solutions was founded in 2020, the result of a collaboration between innovative police chiefs, public health, healthcare and recovery leaders, who helped launch a police-engaged, multi-institutional outreach program based on opioid crisis-driven community needs.

We are applying years of law enforcement leadership and subject matter experience collaborating with public health experts to provide community-based integrated solutions for behavioral health problems. Under the leadership and guidance of Chief Allen (Retired) and Chief Botieri, their Southeastern Massachusetts communities in four years gained national recognition for saving lives by connecting at-risk persons, their family members and loved ones to substance use treatment, recovery and support services.

Scott C. Allen

Retired Chief of Police East Bridgewater (MA), over 25 years law enforcement experience, police academy instructor, community activist, and regional law enforcement leader advocating for those struggling with substance use disorders and behavioral health issues, played lead role in creating a regional substance use drop-in center.

Michael E. Botieri

Police Chief for the largest municipality in Massachusetts by area for the past decade, nearly 35 years as a police officer, FBI National Academy graduate, Senior Staff, and police academy instructor, in 2015 collaborated with a local hospital implementing post overdose support teams, which was a key initiative in creating a county-wide outreach program in Southeastern Massachusetts.

Together, Allen and Botieri helped to create the county-wide substance use outreach program, which has received national recognition for its advocacy and work to address substance use disorders and has been awarded $1.5 million in grant funding support

Media

Recognition in the media of our program that collaboratively addresses the drug crisis with substantive and measurable success

25 Boston News Knocking Down Addiction (video 3 mins)

Police Executive Research Forum, 2017 Opioid Epidemic Report (our section is pages 61-64 of the linked report), full report PERF The Unprecedented Opioid Epidemic (link to report)

EB HOPE Drop In Center documentary (video 5 mins)

Botieri and Allen co-authored article in The Police Chief Magazine

2018 IACP/Cisco Leadership in Community Police Award Serving Populations Over 250,000 (video 2 mins)

Boston University School of Social Work Panel features harm reduction approaches from social work, public health, and emergency services (article)

NBC Boston Overdosed: New England Fights Back (video 13 minutes, Allen/Botieri featured at 4:10 minute mark)