Task Force: Opioid Abuse An Epidemic In Massachusetts
A task force created by Gov. Charlie Baker says drug addiction must be considered a medical disease and has outlined a series of steps to fight opioid abuse.
The 18-member group created in February released dozens of recommendations on Monday after holding several public meetings around the state.
Saying Massachusetts was in the midst of an ``epidemic,'' the report said more than 6,600 people have died from heroin and other opioid-related overdoses in the past decade.
The report focuses on prevention, education, intervention, and treatment and recovery.
Baker said the overall plan will require about $27 million in new state funding, and cannot be solved through a one-size-fits-all approach.
Since addiction often begins with prescription painkillers, the report calls for strengthening the state's prescription monitoring program and requiring education in safe prescribing practices.
The report is available here.