Massachusetts lawmakers taking steps to fight the opioid epidemic

Governor Baker said the state needs to be "more aggressive" about this issue.

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – More than 1,400 people died of opioid overdoses in Massachusetts last year.

“It’s a topic that just comes up when you’re driving around or just talking to people,” said Ian Manning of Shelburne. “It’s like everyone has a relative who has that as an issue.”

The opioid epidemic continues to be a topic of concern in our state and across the country. The Recover Project in Greenfield works with people struggling with drug abuse. They believe the federal, state and local governments all need to be working together in order to solve the problem.

“It’s a larger societal problem now. The attention is on it because its affecting everyone, as opposed to just the limited areas that it has been for many years,” said Theresa Maenzo-Tanner, Operations & Resource Coordinator for the Recover Project.

Continuing Coverage: Opioid Crisis

Deaths involving synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, also continue to rise. Lt. Governor Karyn Polito told 22News the Baker administration’s working with the medical community to reduce opioid prescriptions, and law enforcement to crack down on dealers.

“We are deeply concerned with drug trafficking and fentanyal and some of these synthetic drugs that are combined with heroin and opioids that are killing people,” Lt. Governor Polito said.

Lt. Gov. Polito added that the state received a $12-million federal grant to get more people in treatment and recovery, and to reduce drug trafficking.

Governor Charlie Baker recently joined the national opioid task force, where he hopes to get more funding from the federal government.

Working for a Better TomorrowIf you or someone you love is dealing with an addiction problem, a page has been developed to assist you begin your journey to recovery. Click Here »