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  • Writer's pictureDennis Gravelle

A Letter To The Editor

A letter sent in to the local paper from our co-chair, Dennis Gravelle.

I am the Co-Chair of an organization that I would not choose to join. We also would be thrilled if no-one else joins our group. We do not need or want new members. Who are we? We are the parents and families of persons who died too young. Would you like us to find you a seat? Unfortunately, you may need to stand. Because of the plague of opiate use in New England in recent years we are growing rapidly. In fact we now have a group just for Substance Related Bereavement. We are the Compassionate Friends. We provide grief support after the death of a young family members in North Central Massachusetts. Every week we get new calls and emails from new families that need assistance. In dealing with these tragedies our motto is “we need not walk alone”.

With this background in mind, we cannot help but tell you how delighted we are with the recent focus on opiate addiction and treatment being pursued by Governor Bakers task force, including the Lieutenant Governor, The Working Group panel, which includes Attorney General Maura Healey, Worcester County Sheriff Lew Evangelidis, Lt. and the consistent and ongoing commitment of Senator Jennifer Flanagan. There are countless others who are responding to this very important need The Sentinel and Enterprise is also to be applauded for your comprehensive news coverage of Opiate prevention, treatment related discussion groups, task force and initiatives. As was stated at the Opioid Working Group public dialogue recently in Worcester, “One Overdose is too many.”

We have enough members already. Here’s hoping for no more new opiate related bereavement members someday.


Dennis Gravelle – Co-Chair The Compassionate Friends North Central Mass

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