Breaking Down the Opiate Crisis in Massachusetts

In less than four months, 185 people have died in Massachusetts of  suspected opiate overdose. Massachusetts Governor Duval declared a public health emergency in March in an attempt to curtail the crisis, but there are major institutional obstacles blocking progress.

The problem runs deeper than opiate abuse. Today we’ll take a look at deeper issues involved in the opiate crisis in Massachusetts.

Widespread Opiate Abuse

Fighting opiate abuse

The popularity of recreational prescription drugs has lead to an uptick in heroin use. Easy to obtain opiates like Percocet act as a gateway drug, luring users in with ease of use. Later, many users switch to heroin because it is cheaper. While officials are pushing for preventative measures to stop addiction before it starts, they are struggling to find solutions for those who are currently opiate abusers.

Why? The short answer is a lack of resources. Massachusetts is struggling to find financial, legal, and logistical solutions for its opiate crisis.

  • Insurance Issues: Many opiate abusers don’t have insurance. And those that do often have state insurance. The problem is that many treatment centers choose to only accept PPO insurance plans, rejecting the state insurance plans. Furthering the problem is that while the state does cover the cost of a stay in a recovery home, it only pays $75 per person per day, which does not cover the recovery home’s costs. This means that they could be losing money on each patient. Because of this, there are struggles with staffing and maintaining the facilities.
  • Not Enough Beds: Even opiate addicts who can afford treatment may run into another hurdle in obtaining it–the lack of beds. But many opiate addicts cannot afford to wait for a bed to open up. Every day that they do not receive treatment, they risk their lives. Massachusetts authorities have acknowledged this problem, but claim that there are out-patient treatment options like Methadone available for those who can’t get a bed in a treatment facility.
  • Court Complications: Out of desperation, some families are taking advantage of a state law that allows them to civilly commit opiate abusers so that they can get immediate treatment. For some users, this is the only way to gain immediate access to in-patient treatment options. But this furthers the burden on the Massachusetts courts and the already overburdened treatment facilities.

Take a Stand Against Drug Addiction

Opiate abuse is a major public health risk. ARCpoint Labs of Worcester can help test for opiates and other types of drugs. When you partner with us, we can help you maintain a drug-free workplace with effective, legal drug testing policies.

If your ready to talk about ways to combat the risk of opiate abuse your Worcester, MA workplace, call ARCpoint Labs today at (774) 314-9551!



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