What to Know
- "Help us" was spray-painted on a concrete wall at the edge of Dug Pond in Natick, Massachusetts, near the town's high school.
- A woman whose son survived opioid addiction says the message is sad because usually what’s on the wall is done by students.
- In 2018, there have been 12 opioid overdoses, according to Natick officials. Three of them have been fatal.
A plea for help that was spray-painted on a concrete wall in Natick, Massachusetts, has caught the attention of town officials and become a symbol of the community’s battle against the deadly opioid epidemic.
The message, “Help us,” was written on a large concrete wall at the edge of Dug Pond, near Natick High School. The words were written within a spray-painted hypodermic needle.
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“Family by family, it’s tearing us apart,” said Eileen Collett, whose son survived opioid addiction. “It’s sad because usually what’s on the wall is done by students.”
The Natick Opioid Task Force, which was created in 2016, recently received a private grant to purchase 500 packets of Narcan, the opioid overdose drug. Officials say they’ve distributed 25 packets in six months.
“Natick has been hit hard like everywhere else,” said Natick Police Lt. Cara Rossi.
Rossi, who’s a member of the task force, says the stigma associated with opioid addiction presents additional hurdles.
“It creates a huge barrier in getting the resources to the people that need it,” Lt. Rossi said.
“The ‘Not my kid!’ stereotype needs to go away,” Collett said. “Everybody in my group thought, ‘Not my kid.’ I did.”
In 2018, there have been 12 opioid overdoses, according to town officials. Three of them have been fatal.