Reports indicate there was a brawl at Massachusetts Avenue and Albany Street — an area in Boston known as the Methadone Mile, on Aug. 20, 2020. Both the Boston Police Department and Massachusetts State Police responded.
According to dispatchers, the fight involved 60 individuals. However, most of the crowd fled before the officers arrived. The officers found those remaining still fighting.
The Boston PD and the state officers quelled the situation and made two arrested. CBS Boston reported Bryan Doyle was taken into custody and charged with assault. He is a 35-year-old South Boston resident. Meanwhile, the second culprit remains unnamed.
Opioid Wars in the US
The DEA defines opioids as:
Though some people still refer to all drugs as “narcotics,” today “narcotic” refers to opium, opium derivatives, and their semi-synthetic substitutes. A more current term for these drugs, with less uncertainty regarding its meaning, is “opioid.” Examples include the illicit drug heroin and pharmaceutical drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, codeine, morphine, methadone, and fentanyl.
Much like Boston the state of Missouri is engaging in an increasingly difficult war on opioids because of COVID-19.
In 2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 1,610 people died from opioid drug overdoses. Between January and July 2020, the CDC reported 10 fentanyl-related deaths have been reported within Columbia City, Indiana.
Columbia Police Department Vice, Narcotics, and Organized Crime Department Sergeant Jeffry Rukstad stated that the number of times public authorities have used Narcan has increased. By definition, Narcan is a medication the blocks the human body’s addiction to opioids.
Then, Rukstad said police officers are receiving more training, and feeling more comfortable handling situations involving overdoses. He explains understanding Narcan and increased exposure to the overdose treatment is the reason for an increase in usage in the field.
Massachusetts Congressman Assists in Treaty
Trade between the United States and China began as early as 1784. It was not long before the U.S. appetites craved opium. President John Tyler selected Congressman Caleb Cushing, (Mass.) to represent the United States’ interests.
The first formal treaty signed between the U.S. and China in 1844. Cushing and China’s representatives negotiated and signed the Treaty of Wangxia.
The British counterpart, Treaty of Nanjing was signed two years earlier, which signaled an end to the First Opium War.
Today, Methadone clinics, are found in almost every city in the United States. Boston’s Methadone Mile received its moniker due to the clinics in the area.
By John A. Federico
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
CBS Boston: Brawl Breaks Out On Boston’s ‘Methadone Mile’
ABC17 News: COVID-19 pandemic affects opioid crisis and recovery; Sydney Olden
Office of the Historian: The Opening to China Part I: the First Opium War, the United States, and the Treaty of Wangxia, 1839–1844; Department of State
Featured Top Image Courtesy of Ben Schumin’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License