The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last week announced that it was distributing the first $301 million of a three-year $900 million grant to states to assist them in fighting the opioid crisis. Massachusetts Department of Public Health received $7.5 million. The CDC money is aimed at tracking overdose data, among other initiatives.
At the same time, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released $932 million in State Opioid Response grants; $35.9 million of that total is coming to Massachusetts in what SAMHSA calls “flexible funding to state governments to support prevention, treatment, and recovery services.”
Massachusetts continues its efforts to help curb opioid use in the state. Last Wednesday, the legislature’s Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery Committee heard testimony on a number of bills relating to the issue. MHA has recently testified on a number of bills relating to substance use disorder treatment and harm reduction. For example, MHA supports HB1748/SB1160, which would help to increase the number of providers equipped to prescribe or administer various forms of medication for addiction treatment. MHA also supports SB1150/HB1732, which extends the currently mandated 14 days of insurance coverage for various forms of treatment to 30 days. Research indicates that longer stays in addiction treatment can be beneficial to those suffering from substance use disorder.