Massachusetts receives nearly $12 million in federal funding to fight opioid epidemic

Health

Massachusetts continues to invest money and resources into fighting the opioid epidemic. 

The state hopes to use nearly 12-million dollars in federal funding to add  treatment beds, reduce wait times and provide additional prevention services.

Tapestry Health Program Director Liz Whynott told 22News, “We are in the midst of an overdose crisis. There continues to be more and more people dying from an overdose.”

Massachusetts receiving nearly $11.7-million to help fight the opioid epidemic. 

“We really have to figure out how to work with people that are using drugs to figure out how to decrease overdoses and really how to keep people safe while they’re using drugs,” said Whynott.

It’s the second round of federal funding, under the 21st Century “Cures Act,” signed into law in  2016. The same year, the drug claimed nearly 1900 lives in Massachusetts. 

Since 2015, the Baker-Polito administration has doubled its spending to fight the opioid crisis. The Governor even added 1100 treatment beds. 

That Includes 748 adult substance use treatment beds and certified more than 162 sober homes. 

Katherine Wilson, President and CEO of Behavioral Health Network, told 22News, “But at this point in time, it may take you a day or two to get into a detox center, which is really what we really need to get rid of. We need it to not be a situation where somebody has to wait.” 

The “Behavioral Health Network” offers 192 detox beds between their Franklin and Hampden County state-funded detox facilities. No such facility exists in Hampshire County. 

The funding will also increase outreach services, overdose prevention training, and improve access to naloxone, the overdose reversal drug. 

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