KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Mass. To Spend $20 Million To Combat Opioid Use

Gov. Deval Patrick announced the plan Tuesday that will also team with five other New England states to upgrade treatment and expand coverage to treat drug abuse.

The Boston Globe: Patrick Airs $20M Plan To Combat Opioid Use
Governor Deval Patrick unveiled plans Tuesday to upgrade treatment for opioid addicts, expand insurance coverage, and coordinate with the other five New England governors to stem an epidemic that has claimed hundreds of lives in Massachusetts since last fall. Key elements of the $20 million plan, which could create hundreds of new treatment beds, target the needs of adolescents and young adults, who made up about 40 percent of clients treated in fiscal 2013 by the state’s Bureau of Substance Abuse Services (MacQuarrie, 6/10).

WBUR: Patrick Endorses Plan To Address Opiate Addiction ‘Public Health Emergency’
The Patrick administration is ready to spend $20 million on two dozen initiatives aimed at curbing a surge in addiction to heroin and other opiates in Massachusetts. The details are in a task force report endorsed by Gov. Deval Patrick Tuesday. “We have a public health emergency,” Patrick said, repeating the reason he created the task force in late March. To combat that emergency, the state will spend $4 million on new residential treatment programs for adolescents, young adults, families with children, and two that will give priority to Latinos. There’s an enhanced prescription monitoring program. The state plans to spend $3 million on treatment for inmates, including Vivitrol, a drug that blocks the effects of opiates (Bebinger, 6/10).

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