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Task Force Forming Recommendations On Opiate Abuse

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A special state opiate abuse task force is sending several recommendations to Gov. Deval Patrick by next week.

Among the suggestions unveiled at a meeting Wednesday is a statewide care management task force to help addicts transition from one type of treatment setting to another, such as moving from a detoxification center to a residential treatment program or from prison back into the community. The panel said the initiative could cost $10 million to serve some 50,000 people.

Another initiative would improve how medical schools teach future doctors about pain medication, and how to wean patients from the prescription drugs.

Patrick formed the task force in March when he declared opiate abuse a public health emergency. He asked it to suggest ways to use $20 million he designated to bolster substance abuse treatment services.

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