Massachusetts Opioid Legislation
Massachusetts legislators will advocate for reform in treatment of opioid addictions in the coming debates on the state’s spending, reports WBUR. The proposed reform would cost $5 million and contains initiatives of a new strategy emphasizing safer use of opioids rather than total prevention. It is smaller facet of the larger $48 million spending increase proposed by Governor Charlie Baker, but is still a contested program derived from the recommendations of the Harm Reduction Commission. It champions expansion of clean-syringe programs, insured distribution of naxolone to patients released from hospitals, increased funding to place nasal naxolone in emergency rooms, public services to detect fentanyl, and creation of secure sites to monitor those at risk of overdose and withdrawal. One more possible initiative is the creation of “safe sites,” opioid clinics where users can take drugs under the relative safety of medical supervision. Though this feature was a strong recommendation of the Harm Reduction Commission, it has generated strong enough debate to not be openly included at this time.