Mayor Walsh Announces The Examination of Boston’s Addiction and Recovery Services

marty walsh

(Boston, MA, 02/05/14) Staff Photo by Nancy Lane

On April 9th, Mayor Marty Walsh announced that the City of Boston’s addiction and recovery services would be getting an upgrade, taking a huge step towards one of the more personal platforms of his campaign for the mayor’s seat. 

“My administration is committed to bringing new support to the recovery community as part of our public health and public safety plans,” said Mayor Walsh in a prepared statement. “We’re connecting the dots to make sure people get access to treatment.”

The AP, reported that many heroin addicts across the country struggle to find beds in treatment centers, and they also have to pay for the expensive services that insurance companies don’t pay for. 

Collaborating with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, a grant and research organization that works to expand access to health care services in Mass, the city will create an expert advisory committee to evaluate the status of addiction and recovery services in Boston. Their work will build into a study that is expected this year, and will lay the foundation for a new Office of Recovery Services that will run out of the Boston Public Health Commission, and it will be funded by 300,000 dollars of Mayor Walsh’s 2015 fiscal budget. 

“Despite significant and historic health care reform in the Commonwealth, treatment for mental health and substance use disorders remains challenging in terms of access, capacity and cost. I think we can all agree that the current system is complex, overburdened and in need of reform,” said Audrey Shelto, president of the Blue Cross Blue Shield foundation in a prepared statement.

Mass state police said there were 185 deaths in four months from November to February due to heroin overdose. Governor Deval Patrick declared a state public health emergency at the end of March due to the increase in heroin and opioid addiction. 

Since 2000, the number of deaths as a result of heroin and opioid addiction has jumped from 363  to 642 in 2011.

Boston Massachusetts Banned Christmas

boston massachusettsBanning Christmas sounds like something that is made up but it isn’t. The Christmas ban in Boston Massachusetts lasted for about 22 years and while it was revoked then, the “Christmas scene” didn’t change until the mid-1800s. It wasn’t until the mid-1800s that celebrating Christmas became fashionable in the Boston region.

By the way Christmas was banned in Boston Massachusetts in the 1600’s not recently.

Here is some Boston Massachusetts history for ya:

The puritans who immigrated to Boston Massachusetts to build a new life had many reasons for not liking Christmas. Not liking Christmas, what? Yep. The first reason was that it reminded them of the one and only Church of England and the old world customs associated with it. And these customs and this church was exactly what the puritans were trying to escape. Second reason for not liking Christmas was that they didn’t actually consider the holiday a “true” religious day. December 25th wasn’t selected as the birth date of Christ for many centuries after his death. Third, the celebration of Christmas usually included fun stuff including feasting, playing games, and even drinking- which the puritans frowned upon. 

“For preventing disorders, arising in several places within this jurisdiction by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other communities, to the great dishonor of God and offense of others: it is therefore ordered by this court and the authority thereof that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shilling as a fine to the county.”

From the records of the General Court,
Massachusetts Bay Colony
May 11, 1659

The second Christmas in the New World was the first time the celebration of Christmas was forbidden in Boston Massachusetts. The ban didn’t make it into law books until several years later. AS the settlement we know as Boston today grew and more English settled in the area, tensions grew between the Puritans and the British. The more pressure the English King exerted on the colonists to celebrate Christmas the more they resisted. in 1659, the celebration of Christmas was banned and other such holidays were banned too. Also gambling and other lawless behaviors were banned as well. The court placed a fine of 5 shillings on anyone who was caught feasting, or celebrating the holiday in any other way. 

The Christmas Ban was revoked in 1681 by an English appointed governor named Sir Edmund Andros who also revoked a Puritan ban against festivities on Saturday night. But even after the ban was lifted the majority of Boston Massachusetts’ colonists still didn’t celebrate Christmas. 

Eventually celebrating Christmas became a part of tradition in Boston Massachusetts again and today there is a slew of ways to celebrate Christmas in the heart of the city of Boston.