State Senate committee holds hearing on opiate addiction

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – State lawmakers want to know what can be done to combat the epidemic of opiate addiction here in Massachusetts.

A Senate Special Committee on Drug Abuse and Treatment Options held a hearing Monday at Providence Behavioral Health Hospital in Holyoke.  The committee heard recommendations from local treatment providers and medical experts about how prevent and treat drug addiction in the community.

Dr. Robert Roose is the Chief Medical Officer of Addiction Services for Sisters of Providence Health Services.  He told 22News, “one is expanding the options for medication assisted treatment for patients struggling with opiod addiction that would include increasing access to methadone, buprenorphine treatment and naltrexone or vivitrol treatment.”

In March, Gov. Patrick declared a public health emergency in response to the state’s growing epidemic of heroin overdoses and opioid addiction.  Drug overdose also is the leading cause of injury death in Massachusetts.

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