‘We need help’: Mayor Marty Walsh addresses the impacts of opioid crisis on Boston neighborhoods

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh told South End residents this week the city has “work to do” as it continues to tackle the impacts of the opioid crisis on neighborhoods surrounding the area known as “Mass. and Cass,” but called for other communities around the state to step up their own efforts to address the crisis.

Even while highlighting the need for services to be expanded in other cities and towns, the mayor repeatedly said during a virtual meeting Monday that Boston will not turn away those who have come to the city for help.

“I know for all of you on this call that live in the South End it’s been a challenging time,” he said. “I’m not going to kid you and sugarcoat what’s happening. Addiction is something that an individual in some cases can’t help, until they’re willing to go into treatment. I am not going to turn my back, and I have not turned my back, on the folks at Mass. and Cass.”

The coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the opioid crisis, city officials and community members agree, with COVID-19 prompting the closure of many services for homelessness and substance use disorder across the state and region.

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