BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker declared today “No First Time” Day in the Commonwealth to raise awareness of teen drug use. “No First Time” is an early education and awareness program started through the Evan G. Foundation to fight substance abuse. The Evan G. Foundation raises awareness of substance abuse disorders and helps prevent youth drug use so that no child has any reason to try drugs for the first time.
Governor Baker presented the proclamation to co-founders of the organization, Stephanie and John Greene and Norfolk County Police Detective John Fanning. The Greene’s lost their son, Evan, from an opiate overdose. He tried drugs for the first time when he was 15-years-old and was addicted to heroin two years later. Through the program, Detective Fanning shares his own personal story about a childhood impacted by addiction. Stephanie and John share their son’s story to educate youth about the dangers of substance abuse and prevent other opioid-related deaths.
Since taking office, the Baker-Polito Administration has added over 1,100 treatment beds, increased state spending on addiction services by 60 percent and was the first in the nation to launch core competencies for safe prescribing of opioids and treatment of substance abuse disorders with the state’s nursing, medical, dental, social work and physician assistant schools accounting for more than 8,500 future prescribers and clinicians. In 2017, opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts declined by an estimated 8.3 percent, compared to 2016. This is the first time in several years there has been a year over year decline.