BUTTE - Some people in Butte believe dangerous drugs and overdose have reached a crisis level in this community and they’re gathering to take action against this problem.
“I know there are people in this audience here that have been hit by this harder than anybody can imagine and my heart bleeds for them. But they’re here today because they want something addressed,” said Butte Chief Executive J.P. Gallagher.
People packed the conference room at the Butte Emergency Operations Center to find solutions to the increased issue of opioid abuse and overdose. Sherry Carpino knows the problem all too well when she watched her 30-year-old son Riley Giacoletto die from a fentanyl overdose in front of her on New Year's Eve.
“He was talking to me, eating a cheeseburger and the next thing I know …,” said Carpino.
Health officials, educators and concerned citizens shared ideas about how to address the problem.
“We’re willing to do whatever we can to help because the pain we’re going through I never want anyone else to experience,” said Carpino.
Many suggested all agencies and community members need to work together.
“We need to come together as a community, enough is enough, all of us have had family members who have substance abuse, mental illness, so it’s all a part of our lives that we need to solve together,” said Dr. George Mulcaire-Jones.
Gallagher added, “We’ve got to effect change in our community, we really do and it’s everybody in here that has to do it.”
For Sherry Carpino, her grief is softened by the large show of support from the community willing to tackle this problem.
“I’m very surprised, I’m very proud, that’s Butte. Everybody’s got to come together, they have to,” she said.