Massachusetts lawmakers push for more funding to fight opioid addiction


BOSTON (WWLP) – Members of both the house and senate want to reduce deadly opioid overdoses, but they have different ideas on how to do that. 

During budget negotiations on Tuesday, senators on a six-member conference committee tried to convince their House colleagues to pay $5 million for a program aimed at reducing deaths from the opioid epidemic.

The committee is reviewing proposals to increase access to overdose-reversing drugs and establish a way to detect the deadly opioid fentanyl.

Longmeadow state Senator Eric Lesser proposed an amendment to add 500 thousand dollars for municipalities who want to make bulk purchases of opioid rescue kits that come equip with Narcan. 

State Senator Julian Cyr wants $1.5 million to expand a clean-syringe exchange program, reducing the risk of disease and death. 

Governor Charlie Baker has opposed ‘safe injection site’ proposals in the past due to threats of prosecution from the U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts.  

Massachusetts has spent more than $150 million on opioid-related programs, but lawmakers believe more needs to be done.

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