Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative (MOAPC)

Welcome to the Montachusett Area Prevention Collaborative (MAPP) a partner of the Montachusett Public Health Network (MPHN) and the City of Fitchburg.

Substance Use affects everyone. What we do in the beginning; Increase communication, share data and ideas. Meet periodically; what would public health and safety partnership look like? Connecting with different response strategies. Be persistent, get involved, and show up!

The objective of MAPP is to provide primary, secondary and tertiary prevention resources including education, awareness and support to the communities that we serve. MAPP Prevention Services staff provides across twelve cities and towns in addition to promoting advocacy and working effortlessly to reduce the stigma associated with substance use disorders.

About MAPP

In 2013 the City of Fitchburg was awarded the Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative (MOAPC) Grant.

The purpose of the Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative (MOAPC) grant program is to prevent opioid abuse and opioid overdoses. Additionally, this grant program serves to increase both the number and capacity of municipalities across the Commonwealth addressing these issues.

BSAS (Bureau of Substance Addiction Services at the MA Dept. of Public Health) is funding local municipalities across the Commonwealth to prevent the use/abuse of opioids, prevent/reduce fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses through local policy, practice, systems and environmental change(s). The MOAPC program emphasizes the integration of SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration) Strategic Prevention Framework (SPF) model into overall prevention systems, to ensure a consistent data-driven planning process across the Commonwealth focused on implementing culturally competent and sustainable strategies and interventions that will have a measurable effect on preventing and reducing opioid abuse and opioid overdoses in Massachusetts communities.

The Massachusetts Opioid Abuse Prevention Collaborative (MOAPC) grant program is part of a comprehensive approach to substance use disorder prevention in Massachusetts, which includes the Substance Abuse Prevention Collaborative (SAPC) and SAMHSA’s Partnerships for Success 2015 (PFS 2015) grant programs.

The Fitchburg Cluster area covers includes 5 cities and towns in which, Fitchburg is the lead municipality, Athol, Gardner, Leominster, and Clinton. Primary funding for the grant is from Department Public Health (DPH) Bureau of Substance Addiction Services (BSAS.) The grant is designed to create capacity and aims for sustainability within the communities.

The MOAPC grant is a 7 year grant; the goals of the revision is to get the most out of the remaining years because , WE WANT TO SAVE LIVES!

Click this link to view a FLOW CHART of the structure of the initiative and the various agencies involved in the MOAPC cluster.


Addiction is a brain disorder in which the body must have a substance to avoid physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms.

We repeat things we enjoy that give us a sense of reward and reinforcement. Drugs are particularly good at doing that because they provide a very concentrated form of enjoyment.

Drugs that are often misused activate a part in our brain that is referred to as the reward system. This part of the brain is the same region that responds to life-sustaining activities such as eating and sex. When drugs are misused, the brain becomes flooded with dopamine which controls movement, emotion, motivation, and feelings of pleasure. Because the overstimulation causes the user to feel pleasure and euphoric effects they continue to use the drug after as a way to try and reach that pleasurable feeling again. However, drugs alter the way our brain functions and the user will never be able to achieve the same original feeling again.

An addict is an individual who seeks out a substance or an activity no matter the outcome or consequence. Some consequences could include losing their job, losing friends, or getting in trouble with the law. Addiction can effect anyone regardless of their demographics such as income, age or race.

What are OPIOIDS?

Opioids either come from the opium poppy or are synthetically made. Opioids are depressants, which means they slow down the nervous system, including your breathing. You can overdose on any opioid.

Examples of Opioids include, Hydrocodone (Vicodin, Lortab, Norco), Oxycodone (OxyContin, Percocet, Endocet, Roxicodone)

Fentanyl (Duragestic, Fentora, Actiq) Codeine Heroin.

Prescription Opioids

Prescription opioids can be used to treat moderate-to-severe pain and are often prescribed following surgery or injury, or for health conditions such as cancer. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the acceptance and use of prescription opioids for the treatment of chronic, non-cancer pain, such as back pain or osteoarthritis, despite serious risks and the lack of evidence about their long-term effectiveness.

The most common drugs involved in prescription opioid overdose deaths include:

Oxycodone (such as OxyContin)

Hydrocodone (such as Vicodin)


Heroin use has increased sharply across the United States among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels.  Heroin is an illegal, highly addictive opioid drug. A heroin overdose can cause slow and shallow breathing, coma, and death.  People often use heroin along with other drugs or alcohol. This practice is especially dangerous because it increases the risk of overdose.

Heroin is typically injected but is also smoked and snorted. When people inject heroin, they are at risk of serious, long-term viral infections such as HIV, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis B, as well as bacterial infections of the skin, bloodstream, and heart.


Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever, approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain.  It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is prescribed in the form of transdermal patches or lozenges and can be diverted for misuse and abuse in the United States.

However, most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. are linked to illegally made fentanyl. It is sold through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. It is often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine as a combination product—with or without the user’s knowledge—to increase its euphoric effects.

Overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, which includes fentanyl.  Reports from law enforcement indicate that much of the synthetic opioid overdose increase may be due to illegally made fentanyl. According to data from the National Forensic Laboratory Information System, confiscations, or seizures, of fentanyl increased by nearly 7x from 2012 to 2014. This suggests that the sharp rise in fentanyl-related deaths may be due to increased availability of illegally made, non-pharmaceutical fentanyl, and not prescribed fentanyl.