Social workers key to addressing opioid crisis

There is a rising need for social workers in Middlesex County and throughout Massachusetts to help us manage the most pressing public health problem we face today – the opioid crisis.

In 2017, there were 357 opioid-related overdose deaths in Middlesex County, more than any other county in Massachusetts. There is an urgent need to address this crisis – and social workers are an integral part of the solution. 

Social workers are the largest providers of substance use and mental health services in the United States, yet low pay and staggering student loan debt have resulted in a mass shortage. These workers provide essential supports to those in treatment and recovery, complementing medication-assisted treatment with counseling and connections to housing, education, and job opportunities. We cannot afford to lose this valuable workforce – especially in the midst of a public health crisis.

I have witnessed first-hand the invaluable role of social workers in our community. I’m committed to standing up for social workers in our district and throughout the Commonwealth – and I hope you will stand with me.

Cindy Friedman

State Senator

4th Middlesex

This Letter to the Editor was published in the Woburn Patch on March 22, 2019.