Massachusetts eligible for $20M to help those with opioid addiction

Part of $1.1 billion White House proposal

An educational pamphlet and samples of naloxone, a drug used to counter the effects of opiate overdose. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

BOSTON (WWLP) – President Obama’s budget proposal calls for more than $1-billion to help states fight the ongoing heroin and prescription drug epidemic. The goal is to expand opioid treatment programs nationwide.

States would receive funding based on the severity of the epidemic in their communities, so states with higher rates of overdose deaths would receive more money. Massachusetts could be eligible for up to $20-million in federal grants.

Pittsfield State Senator Ben Downing told 22News that money would help drug addicts in rural areas like the Berkshires. He said because public transportation is limited in western Massachusetts, addicts have a difficult time getting to the help they need.

“There are plenty of people who want treatment, who want to be able to get away from addiction, but they need to have the ability to access those services. They need the services to be present in their community,” said Senator Downing.

This is just a budget proposal, so the final funding amount in Massachusetts all depends on Congress.

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