An official from Dedham recently traveled to Atlanta as a guest of Norfolk County District Attorney Michael Morrissey at the 2014 National Prescription Drug Abuse Summit.
Dedham Public Health Nurse Caitlin Van De Giesen attended the four-day summit in April, where she joined others to take part in seminars defining the scope and origins of the current epidemic, interventions, policies and practices from around the country to lessen substance abuse, Morrissey's office said in an announcement.
"Prescription drugs, particularly opiates, are being diverted for non-medical use and abuse in every corner of Norfolk County," Morrissey said in a statement. "It is fueling most of our property crimes, many violent crimes and has led to an astonishing number of fatal overdoses. The word crisis is too weak to describe what is happening in Massachusetts."
Educators, social workers and police and government officials learned about substance abuse prevention with various seminars.
"With comprehensive prescription drug collection and disposal in place, including at the Dedham Police Station, Narcan overdose reversal training and kits available to every police and fire department in the county and some of our other efforts in place, we appear somewhat ahead of much of the country," Morrissey said. "But there is always more to learn, and there is still much work and struggle ahead of us."