While New Bedford has long dealt with opioid addiction, the epidemic extends beyond city bounds. Residents of South Coast suburbs, realizing that opioid addiction is a regionwide problem, have begun to form collaborations and hold events. The Rev. Scott Ciosek of St. Peter's Church in Dartmouth said he thinks a lot of people may feel like God has shut them out and due to their life story or self image feel like they wouldn't be welcome in a church. As the executive director of The Bridge: A Center for Hope and Healing, he facilitates grief groups for those who have lost loved ones to addiction or overdose. "There's such a need for it," he said. It took about a year and a half of planning to clean out and rehabilitate the building next to the church to help restore what Ciosek saw as a shortage of mental health services and grief groups on the SouthCoast. The nonprofit is a little over a year old.
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