Addiction Prevention Services in Taunton

SSTAR Expands Prevention Services


Fall 2016, Taunton, MA based addiction treatment center SSTAR will soon open a new facility. This location will provide prevention services and resources such as awareness events, physician training, and other educational efforts.  This undertaking was spurred by the growing demand for these services at their other locations.

SSTAR Program Director Laura Washington and Task Force member Kiara Zea are leading this new effort. The City of  Tauton has long been a champion in the fight against addiction. As Director Washington affirmed, “This municipality is very progressive and on the forefront of this epidemic…” In 2012, the state of Massachusetts declared opioid addiction a public health crisis. Since then, numbers have been on a steady increase. However, without the treatment, prevention and awareness measures taken since then, the numbers would certainly be even higher still.

Narcan Helps, But Only So Much

Lives are being saved everyday by the overdose reversing drug Narcan. For the past 3 year fire fighters in Taunton have been trained to administer Narcan. Unfortunately,  “Some of the fatal deaths in town have been people that were revived with Narcan before, successfully, and then they ended up OD’ing,” according to Tim Bradshaw, chief of the Taunton Fire Department. This is the very nature of addiction.

This is why multiple approaches are so important. Approaches like SSTAR’s efforts toward increasing prevention services in addition to addiction treatment and recovery services help to make help available to people no matter where they are in their journey towards recovery.


Established in 1977, SSTAR is a non-profit Massachusetts-based licensed health care and social services agency. They provide mental health and substance use treatment services to residents of Tauton. Their mission is to provide quality care and support services to individuals struggling with mental health and substance use disorders.


Volunteering in Overdose Prevention


SMART’s Director of Partner Services and Operations, and overdose prevention volunteer, Ann-Marie Reid Richardson

April 22, 2016 – Brown University School of Medicine recently hosted inter-professional training meetings to address overdose prevention methods.  This event brought together students to provide instruction and facilitate overdose response practice groups. One important overdose prevention method being taught is the administration of naloxone.

SMART’s  Director of Partner Services and Operations, Ann-Marie Reid Richardson has been volunteering with Rhode Island Medical Reserve Corps and NOPE-RI since 2009. For this gathering she provided naloxone training for attendees and participating organizations; The RI MRC / NOPE-RI, The Drug and Overdose Prevention & Rescue Coalition, in addition to Rhode Island College, University of Rhode Island, and Brown University Medical School. Multidisciplinary teams of medical students, pharmacy students, and nursing students were educated on recognizing the symptoms of overdose, how to prevent overdose, and how to revive victims of overdose until emergency medical care can be administered. When asked why she volunteers Ann-Marie said, “Participating and volunteering keeps me involved in the communities directly served by our partners. It is my way of giving back.”

The past few years have generated the largest number of fatal overdoses in our nation’s history. SMART is proud to support volunteer efforts that positively contribute to the recovery from the ongoing opiate epidemic.