Massachusetts advances in its response to opioid epidemic

Governor Baker’s Action Plan to Address the Opioid Epidemic in Massachusetts takes an aggressive approach to substance abuse prevention, treatment, and recovery. An update to this plan was recently released, outlining important new strategies and services now being offered or soon to be available.

Some of the most critical new services include enhanced services to improve access to treatment, additional treatment beds, and steps to increase access to naloxone as well as medication assisted treatment (MAT).

In the coming months, live treatment availability information will be made available to the public online and through the Helpline. This will help to streamline the process of accessing treatment across the Commonwealth.

New beds have been added in Dartmouth, Plymouth, Westborough, Fall River, and Lowell, and additions are scheduled for Greenfield and also for Section 35 treatment for women. Several strategies will increase access to medication assisted treatment, and assure that those who receive medication assisted treatment are not refused by licensed addiction treatment programs.

Steps are being taken to expand and streamline MassHealth enrollment, as well as to ease entry to treatment for MassHealth recipients. Additionally, the Bureau of Substance Addiction Services plans to open regional assessment centers and to house recovery coaches in emergency departments. Prevention and intervention measures also aim to ease the burden of opioid abuse and addiction in the Commonwealth.

Stay tuned – critical new services will be available via the Helpline soon.