Targeting the opioid epidemic
Addressing the opioid epidemic was one of the legislature’s top priorities over the last two years. There’s more work to do, but we’ve made important strides. Our landmark legislation will reduce the number of pills on the street by requiring pharmaceutical companies to launch drug take-back programs, limiting initial opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply, and strengthening the Prescription Monitoring Program.
We also created a program that enables cities and towns to purchase the lifesaving drug Narcan at discounted rates. We invested tens of millions of dollars in new treatment beds. And we gave law enforcement officers the tools they need to arrest and prosecute criminals who are trafficking fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid responsible for hundreds of fatal overdoses.
As the legislature’s changes take effect, I hope to see Massachusetts’ staggering overdose numbers crest and eventually fall. In the meantime, we’ll keep working to ensure that our criminal justice and health care systems treat addiction as a disease, not a crime.