Senior Drug Policy Officer (IPA)
District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey founded this task force in October 2013 to develop multi-disciplinary approaches to opiate overdose prevention. Designees from law enforcement at the local, state and federal level work together with designees from Norfolk County hospitals, Boards of Registration in Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Nursing, Learn to Cope, a designee for the Norfolk County Fire Chiefs Association and a representative for all Norfolk County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions meet quarterly to strategize and share information.
There are three sub-work groups divided by discipline, and dedicated to problem solving within their area of expertise. They are:
(1.) Safe Prescribing Work Group: This working group, led by our Safe Prescribing Consultant, brings together prescribers, dispensers, insurance providers, public health and professional boards. Together this group has developed and implemented a county-wide Pharmacy Outreach Program designed to encourage PDMP enrollment and utilization by dispensers. This group also developed the “Yellow Flags Of Safe Dispensing”, a guide for dispensers to assist in recognizing drug seeking and other questionable activity. A Safe Prescribing Conference was held on May 7, 2014 for 300 prescribers and dispensers.
(2.) Opiate Overdose Death Review & Data Driven Investigations: This working group, led by the Project Manager, consists of a data driven bi-monthly review of overdose deaths from Norfolk County. Meeting attendees include a designee from each Norfolk County Police Department, an investigator from the Board of Registration in Medicine, an investigator from the Office of Public Protection, Massachusetts State Police Homicide Detectives and Narcotics Detectives. The review is designed to share intelligence on trends contributing to overdose deaths. Concerning prescribing and dispensing seen in patient prescription histories is referred to the appropriate Board for review, and if deemed appropriate, investigation. This process, since its implementation, has been adopted by the Massachusetts State Police as the best practice of review, and will be used across the Commonwealth.
(3.) Substance Abuse Prevention Coalitions: This sub-working group is led by the Community Coalition Coordinator. Since October 2013, eleven (11) new community coalitions have been formed in Norfolk County. The Coalition Coordinator attends all 18 monthly coalition meetings. Additionally, a monthly meeting is held which brings together all coalition leaders to share information. Mentors were assigned by the Coalition Coordinator so that experienced leaders could assist newly forming coalitions on a continuing basis as a resource. This network serves as our conduit to residents with important prevention messages.
Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey replicated the success of the Quincy Police Department Pilot, and the independent implementation of the Stoughton Police Department by directing the expenditure of drug forfeiture money to purchase naloxone for every cruiser, engine and ladder in Norfolk County. He hosted a joint training where first responders were trained to save lives with nasal naloxone. District Attorney Morrissey then shared this training to neighboring counties so that their first responders could be similarly trained. This project has been selected for presentation at the National Prescription Drug Abuse Summit in April 2015.
Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey used drug forfeiture money to provide medicine return boxes to police departments across Norfolk County. His experience as past Chairman of the Energy Committee was critical in building a relationship with a local clean energy company, Covanta, which incinerates returned medicine at no cost to local law enforcement. To reinforce the importance of safely storing and disposing of medicine, Norfolk District Attorney Michael W. Morrissey developed posters and prescription bag-stuffers identifying medicine return locations, the importance of medicine return, and the risks of unsafe storage.