Home > Addiction, Drug Addiction, Drug Testing, Drug-Free Workplace > Massachusetts Senate Studying Statewide Drug Addiction

Massachusetts Senate Studying Statewide Drug Addiction

Since 1999, Massachusetts has experienced a 47% increase in overdose deaths statewide. According to Massachusetts Senate President Therese Murray of the Plymouth and Barnstable districts, this increase is indicative of an overall drug addiction epidemic in the state — particularly opiate addiction, including prescription drug abuse.

In response, the Massachusetts Senate announced the formation of a special committee focusing on drug addiction and treatment, to be chaired by Leominster representative Jennifer Flanagan. Here are some of the aspects of drug addiction in Massachusetts that the Senate plans to probe.

Drug Addiction in Massachusetts

Section 35 & Detox from Drug Addiction

Worcester | Massachusetts Senate Studying Statewide Drug AddictionThe goal of the committee’s investigation is to review the total cycle of drug addiction, including the detoxification and treatment process. Under Massachusetts’ current Section 35, courts are permitted to commit addicts to 90 days of treatment for drug addiction including a detox process.

The issue with Section 35, Murray says, is that it may not be as effective as lawmakers intended, partially because many of the patients admitted for drug addiction are released after only 30 days. Even after state-mandated treatment and detoxification, many people return to drug addiction. The committee hopes that they can find ways to improve drug addiction treatment in Massachusetts by studying the current process and making pointed recommendations.

Shortage of Treatment Beds

Another issue with Section 35 and drug addiction treatment in Massachusetts? The shortage of treatment beds for those enrolled in drug addiction and detoxification programs. At times, judges have even had to make emergency rooms provide detox beds due to the shortage, causing congestion at local hospitals.

Stopping Drug Suppliers

With the highest number of heroin users in all of New England, Massachusetts seems to be a hub for drug addiction, particularly opiates. Murray hopes that the Senate committee can identify ways to work with neighboring states like New York, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, Maine, and Rhode Island to stop the interstate flow of drugs. Limiting the supply of opiates should help stem Massachusetts’ drug addiction problem.

Senate Recommendations

Though the committee is not dedicated to a particular timetable, Murray says its suggestions for drug addiction treatment in Massachusetts could be tacked onto May’s Senate budget or presented as stand-alone legislation. We will keep you updated on the committee’s findings and recommendations as they are released.

Drug Addiction in Your Workplace?

Are you worried about drug addiction in your workplace? ARCpoint Labs of Worcester, MA  provides quick, reliable workplace drug testing, including pre-employment screening, random testing, post-accident testing, and reasonable suspicion drug testing. We also specialize in developing and implementing workplace drug testing policies.

Call us today at (774) 314-9551 to get your workplace drug testing up and running!

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