Monthly Archives: October 2017

QPR Training: Suicide Prevention this Sunday 7-9pm

From Anna Mae O’Shea Brooke –


Dear Medfield Community Member,

Suicide is difficult to discuss and most of the time simply unimaginable, but the reality is that it can happen to people we know and love. This training is an effort to empower us to build awareness and prevent this from happening.

The training is FREE to EVERYONE in our community:

Sunday, October 22 from 7-9pm

RSVP here

“Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives.”



Pete personal note – I volunteered on a telephone crisis line and ran its training program for several years, incorporated and then served on the board of Riverside Community Care (our local community mental health center) for 20 years, and I recently took a QPR training – and I found the QPR training useful.

Municipal Facilities Evaluation and Capital Plan

Library of yesteryear

library 100th postcard

Per the 20 year capital plan and facilities report (558 pages) the Board of Selectmen received this past week on the town owned buildings, the library and other town buildings have expensive maintenance needs.  From memory the front steps of the library need about $20,000 of fixes, the old front door in the picture needs weatherstiping, and the many library façade bricks need repointing.

I hope I will be permitted to release the full report to residents after the report is presented to the Board of Selectmen this evening.  It is really well done – complete, instructive at best, and worrisome at worst.  Owning and maintaining building is clearly expensive, but the maintenance must be both scheduled and performed.

Angel Run Reminder – Early Bird Registration closes 11/1. Please register today!


Greetings Angel Run Friends,

Early Bird Registration for the 12th running (or walking) of the Angel Run closes on November 1st. Don’t miss out on the lower price and your chance to get one of the famous Angel Run shirts. Note the run is on 12/3 and will start at 12:30pm, earlier than in years past.

Thank you to those who have already registered. If you have, be sure to pass this email along to your friends so they have the chance to register. If you haven’t already registered, we ask that you not wait until the last minute.

Registration is online at After November 1st you may still register online however the price goes up and there is no shirt included. You may also print a registration form to send in by mail. Be sure to send it early as forms received after 11/1 will be considered late.

Once again this year we will be offering bib tag timing to provide you the most accurate time possible.Due to the Philip St. bridge closure we will again follow the modified course route from last year which is not an officially USATF certified 5K. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Finally, this year we will again have a special separate starting corral for competitive runners, though this time you decide what competitive means. Be sure to note if you want to be in the competitive section on your registration.

Register Now!


Once again Needham Bank is the Exclusive Presenting Sponsor
of the 2017 MFi Angel Run.

Thank you to the team at Needham Bank for their
continued generosity towards Medfield.


We hope to see you there (with bells on!)


The MFi Angel Run Team




State Senate election today

I want you

State Senate election today

Only about 150 voters by 8:20.

Election coverage

Senate hopefuls bring in big names for last campaign stops

 senator warren

ATTLEBORO — With voter turnout expected to be on the low side for a special Senate election Tuesday, both parties brought out their big names over the weekend to push people to the polls.

The independent candidate in the district, Joe Shortsleeve of Medfield, doesn’t have a party to back him, so he relied on “flash mob” events across the district to gin up interest in the race.

Democrat Paul Feeney of Foxboro got help from a steady stream of party leaders, including U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy, Sen. Ed Markey and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Republican Jacob Ventura, who was endorsed by Gov. Charlie Baker last week, campaigned with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito and party officials in Walpole Sunday.

Various turnout predictions say only about 15 percent of registered voters in the Bristol and Norfolk District will cast ballots Tuesday in the special election to replace former Sen. James Timilty, who resigned.

That means the election could be decided by only the most loyal of partisan voters.

Ventura and Feeney want as many of those loyalists from their party to turn out and used big-name leaders to motivate the base.

Shortsleeve, meanwhile, needs to attract independents and disaffected party members to the polls in a district that is 60 percent independent, or unenrolled.

“All I’ve got is the people. I don’t have a party,” Shortsleeve said.

Feeney most definitely has a party — the Democratic Party — and its leaders have gone all out for him.

Kennedy campaigned Friday, Markey on Saturday and Warren on Sunday.

Warren came to American Legion Post 312 in South Attleboro Sunday and told about 50 campaign volunteers that special elections are “tricky. It’s all going to be about turnout.”

She urged the volunteers to knock on as many doors as possible between now and Tuesday to get Feeney supporters to the polls.

Feeney, she said, has dedicated his life to helping working class families and they share the same middle class values.

She said Feeney is a clear alternative to the two other candidates who support President Donald Trump and his policies favoring “the thin slice at the top.”

Feeney said his concern for working people is reflected in his issues of improving health care, establishing a $15 minimum wage, and providing equal pay for equal work by women.

Ventura and Polito spent Sunday evening walking down Red Gate Road in Walpole, knocking on doors and encouraging citizens to vote in the election.

“Walpole is a very important town in this district and we’re trying to win it,” Ventura said. “I’ve been in almost every neighborhood in this town meeting with voters.”

Polito said thanks to his background, Ventura is an ideal candidate.

“He’s worked in the private sector and understands those interests,” she said. “To have his leadership when it comes to balancing budgets with fiscal discipline while being responsible is something that Governor Baker and I value.”

Shortsleeve said he and a band of supporters drove around the district over the weekend, holding “flash mob” events.

Word would be sent out on social media about where to meet up and supporters would show up at places with signs and wave to passing motorists.

“A whole bunch of people would just show up all at once,” he said, adding it was a high-energy event.

The special election involves a district that includes half of Attleboro, part of Sharon and all of Seekonk, Rehoboth, Norton, Mansfield, Foxboro, Walpole and Medfield.

Jim Hand may be reached at 508-236-0399 or You can follow him on Twitter at @TSCpolitic

ELECTION tomorrow


State Senate Election is Tomorrow

Running are:

  • Republican is Jacob Ventura
  • Independent is Joe Shortsleeve
  • Democrat is Paul Feeney


Derbyfest this Saturday

Dwight-Derby House-2

The first Annual Derbyfest is this Saturday (21st). Don’t miss out! It is only $5 per adult over 21. We will have a beer tasting by 7th Wave Brewing Medfield’s new and only brewery, mini tours of Medfield’s oldest house, the Dwight and Derby Exhibits for your enjoyment and our Dwight-Derby Shoppe will be open for your convenience. You can buy a ticket ahead by contacting Cheryl at 508-359-7264 or cheryl’ or pay at the door. Don’t miss the fun!!


Do spread the word! Thank you!!!

Cheryl O’Malley


Friends of the Dwight-Derby House

38 Pleasant Street

Medfield, MA. 02052

7 Frairy Street

Facebook: Friends of the Dwight Derby House





Drugs are best treatment for opioid abuse

I have been wondering what the best solution was for opioid addiction, and this article makes a good argument for using methadone, Suboxone, and one other drug as the most successful method.









Drugs are best treatment for opioid abuse


Edward M. Murphy


The opioid addiction crisis in the United States has prompted leaders at the state and federal level to promise more money, new laws, and greater focus on the problem. That focus is needed but so far the policy goals lack clear definition. Even as attention on the problem has ramped up, we have continued to treat addiction in ways that have historically not worked well. Doing more of something that’s not working will not correct the problem. If the policy goal is to create treatment interventions that reduce abuse, lower the rate of remission, and restore patients as much as possible to normal living, there is extensive medical research and practical clinical experience suggesting medication-assisted treatment, or MAT, is the way to go.


Aside from emergencies, traditional addiction treatment in the United States is often not medical in nature but guided by the principles derived from 12-step programs. The goal of these programs, which are characterized by admirable spiritual and moral ideals, is complete abstinence driven by self-discipline and support from peer groups. This approach does not work well for people with opioid dependence. As long ago as 1997, National Institutes of Health experts concluded that “opioid addiction is a treatable medical disorder and explicitly rejected notions that addiction is self-induced or a failure of willpower.” The approach recommended by the National Institutes of Health and virtually all other medical and scientific sources is medication-assisted treatment.


Medication-assisted treatment means using one or more pharmacological agents to relieve the symptoms and risks of addiction, enabling patients to begin returning to normal life and to benefit from other behavioral therapies. The treatment is not a magic bullet and MAT does not guarantee success, but it has a substantially higher rate of positive outcomes than traditional non-medical treatment programs. A team of physicians writing in the New England Journal of Medicine likened medication-assisted treatment to the care needed for “other chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension,” where “effective treatment and functional recovery are possible.”


Because of the stigma associated with drug abuse and the traditional stereotype of the addict, some people find it counter-intuitive to use medication to treat addiction. But when scientists explain how the brain responds to the excessive use of heroin or pain pills, the logic of addressing the pathology with an appropriate medication is persuasive.


Opioids attach themselves to receptors in the brain and artificially generate excessive quantities of the neurotransmitter dopamine, producing feelings of euphoria. Addiction is the result of the brain “learning” this new behavior through excessive repetition until it becomes dependent on the artificial effect and craves more.


The argument that experts make for medication-assisted treatment is that managing the brain’s new habit and mitigating the effects of withdrawal will not happen just because a person wants to stop abusing opioids. The process requires a kind of neurological reverse-engineering that can relieve the brain’s urgent need for more drugs. In the absence of appropriate medication, a significant majority of addicts who go through short-term detox will relapse, often multiple times.


There are three medications used in treating opioid addiction. The best known is methadone, which was initially developed in the 1940s as a pain reliever. Because it works by changing the way the brain perceives physical and psychological pain, methadone was soon used to provide people dependent on heroin with a way to manage their withdrawal and to stabilize their lives. Methadone is a synthetic opioid although it does not produce the same high as abused opioids. It is effective but often poorly perceived in the wider community because of its long association with heroin and because people suffering from an addiction disorder normally must go to a registered clinic daily to receive their dosage.


A second medication, buprenorphine, is now gaining wider acceptance among experts. Buprenorphine is called a “partial agonist,” which means that it activates the same receptors as abused opioids but produces a much weaker effect. Essentially the brain is fooled into believing that its opioid craving is met but this happens without the pattern of withdrawal and euphoria that is typical of addiction. The medication is delivered via a daily pill or a strip placed under the tongue and can be prescribed by physicians who have special authorization and training. Patients normally have a month’s supply to take at home. The most common form of this medication, sold under the trade name Suboxone, has a second element that causes unpleasant symptoms in a patient who relapses and takes another opioid.


The third current option is called naltrexone, sold under the trade name Vivitrol. This is an “antagonist” medication that works in a different way than buprenorphine. Instead of fooling the brain receptors, it blocks them so that a patient who relapses cannot trigger those receptors and experience a high. It is administered by monthly injection and can only be given to patients who are already completely detoxed. Vivitrol is increasingly used in criminal justice settings, particularly for previously addicted inmates who will shortly return to their communities.


Each medication has various dosages, side-effects, advantages, and disadvantages depending on the condition of the patient and the arc of his or her addiction history. Only a physician who fully understands the patient’s needs, matches them to the characteristics of the medications, and carefully monitors the ongoing results should make the decision about how best to exploit medication-assisted treatment for the benefit of individuals who need it. Many patients also need to receive psychosocial counseling to help them build on the opportunity provided by the medication.


The National Institute on Drug Abuse summarizes the available research by concluding that medication-assisted treatment has multiple advantages over other forms of treatment and “decreases opioid use, opioid-related overdose deaths, criminal activity, and infectious disease transmission.” Further, MAT “increases social functioning and retention in treatment.” One important study, a randomized, controlled trial published in 2015 by a researcher associated with Harvard Medical School and McLean Hospital, demonstrated that MAT “at least doubles rates of opioid-abstinence” compared with other forms of treatment.


Unfortunately, the treatment endorsed by experts as offering the highest probability of success in moderating the impact of the opioid crisis is not widely available. A health care system normally driven by evidence of clinical efficacy has not organized itself to deliver the care needed by the millions of Americans who suffer from opioid-use disorder. A report issued by the Pew Charitable Trust found a “treatment gap” in which only 23 percent of publicly funded addiction treatment programs and less than half of private sector programs offer MAT. This lack of availability was attributed to inadequate funding and a dearth of qualified providers.


There are additional reasons for the gap. One is the persistent opinion that relying on medication to treat addiction is a morally compromised approach. A psychologist writing last year in Psychology Today articulated this view by saying that “recovery should be about breaking free from all substances.” He also raised the so-called crutch argument, asking if MAT isn’t simply “transferring from one drug to another.” According to this line of thinking, using any drug to aid in treatment is simply switching dependency from one substance to another and is a sign of weakness. This perspective rejects the analogy that using medication to treat addiction is like using insulin to treat diabetes.


It is a sad commentary on our approach to opioids that addicts have easy access to quality medical care when they overdose but not before. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1,000 people are treated in US emergency rooms every day for misuse of prescription opioids. Many more are treated in emergency rooms for the use of such drugs as heroin and fentanyl. The trend is strong in Massachusetts, which ranks at the top among states when measured by opioid-related emergency room visits. Approximately 64,000 Americans, including 1,933 in Massachusetts, died from overdoses in 2016. Hundreds of thousands more were saved by the intervention of clinical professionals. Our health care system is improving at helping people dependent on opioids to survive emergencies, but it is still weak in helping them to recover and live normal lives.


As important as it is to save people’s lives, we will not have a successful policy responding to the opioid crisis until we mitigate the psychological, economic, and societal consequences suffered by living victims of opioid use disorders, their families, and their communities. That requires a highly organized system for quick and comprehensive delivery of the best clinical interventions available.


Some people receiving medication-assisted treatment will fail to comply with the recommendations of their physicians, just as some diabetics do when they consume too much sugar or neglect to take their insulin. The correct response is not to punish them by denying medication and thereby subjecting them to the torment of their disease. The best antidote is sustained availability of high-quality care designed to bring each patient as close as possible to normalcy.


Edward M. Murphy was head of three state agencies between 1979 and 1995—the Department of Youth Services, the Depart-ment of Mental Health, and the Health and Educational Facilities Authority. He subsequently ran several health care companies in the private sector before retiring. 



Mass. citizens point the way on climate change


— Jamie Eldridge and Emily Norton


You get what you pay for


Louis Antonellis


Pipeline gas report is inaccurate, misleading


Thomas Kiley


First lesson this school year must be civility


Todd Gazda


Are homes only for the upper class?


– Tim Sullivan


Colleges can’t be bystanders on opioids


Janie L. Kritzman




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Please submit them to either Bruce Mohl, at, or Michael Jonas, at Include your contact information.


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Autominous vehicles will be our town’s future

I can imagine that autominous vehicles will be in our town’s future, and will eventually be the buses we do not have now.  It could be a great way to solve linkage issues and transportation for seniors, maybe to link the remote Medfield State Hospital site to the downtown, and maybe the school buses of our future.

AV minibus

The Humble Microbus May Become the Leading Edge of the AV Revolution