Event Puts Spotlight on Heroin Problem

A large crowd gathered at the Oak Bluffs School Friday that focused on heroin addiction. The organizer was Billy Pfaff, founder of the Facebook group Heroin Is Killing My Town.

Addiction Treatment Center Planned for Penikese Island

With heroin use a rising concern on the Cape and Islands, the Penikese School has announced plans to reopen as a residential treatment center.

Road to Recovery Rocky as New Paths Future Is Uncertain

The Island’s only intensive outpatient substance abuse program, New Paths Recovery, was inaugurated with a five-year grant from the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital in the summer of 2010. That grant is set to expire in 10 months.

Heroin Use, Overdoses Seen on the Rise Here

Island police and members of the drug treatment community agree that heroin use on the Island is on the rise, along with fatal drug overdoses.

Sober Housing Is Essential in Helping Addiction

As I learned firsthand over recent years, a critical component of this support must be sober living homes. These are the facilities that are meant to provide people with an opportunity to recover in a safe environment.

Heroin Addicts Find Benefit In Drug Treatment, But Stigma Lingers

The 50-year-old man wearing a plaid shirt said he struggled with heroin addiction for years. He lost a house and everything else when he was addicted, he said, once selling his truck for drugs.

Things changed when his daughter was born. He was clean at the time and while before he had “no compunction or moral dilemma” about doing drugs, now “something there needed me.”

Addiction Often Requires Medication

Several years ago I worked with a highly intelligent, sophisticated couple who were severely addicted to heroin. Month after month they struggled to stop, but over and over they found themselves “chasing the high” by taking larger amounts of intravenous heroin or scoring smaller amounts just to keep themselves functional. Finally, they left the States and moved to a kibbutz for a year. They went through a difficult and painful withdrawal syndrome but then lived a drug-free but isolated life for over a year.

Addiction Treatment Improves on Island

In greater numbers than ever before, Islanders are looking for - and finding - the help to get clean and sober.

Vineyard House: Women Find Island Haven for Recovery

Vineyard House: Women Find Island Haven For Recovery


On March 19, 2001, the first woman moved into Vineyard House's third and newest residence - a house dedicated solely to Island women in need of a safe living environment during the early stages of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. More than a year later, 14 women have already moved through the house, most staying for between one and three months. Four live there now.

Prescription Drug Forum Raises Issues of Adequate Treatment

With prescription drug addiction on the rise both nationwide and on Martha’s Vineyard, a well-attended forum about the issue this week focused on how the community can better fight the growing problem.

About 50 people gathered at the high school Wednesday to hear from a panel of community members and addiction experts, and to participate in a discussion about how Vineyarders can get help for prescription drug addiction.