In the legislature of Massachusetts (arguably the state with the most aggressive and comprehensive anti-opioid-abuse policies in the US), an omnibus bill was passed that provided for implementation of new policies, most of them championed by Gov. Charlie Baker.

A commission set standards for certification of “recovery coaches” (those in recovery helping others who are suffering); all prescribers are required to convert to electronic prescriptions by January, 2020; a commission will advise municipal leaders about establishing supervised injection sites with medical professionals present to attend illicit-drug users in clean, safe settings; and a commission will make recommendations regarding “the efficacy of involuntary inpatient treatment”.

In some county prisons, opioid-addicted inmates, previously denied access to medications and forced into withdrawal (and so put at high risk for overdose after release), will be provided addiction drugs—methadone, Suboxone, Vivitrol—under a pilot program starting in September, 2019.

The state’s Sheriffs Association strongly backed these reforms.

What are your state officials doing to curb the fatal scourge of opioid use? Are you involved in advocacy for reforms? Do you see clients/families struggling with this addiction?

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