Hampshire County Sheriff Cahillane supports Baker’s bill to combat opioid crisis

Bill currently under review

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Hampshire County Sheriff Patrick Cahillane

BOSTON (WWLP) –  Governor Charlie Baker filed a bill aimed at combating the states opioid addiction crisis.

Sheriff Patrick Cahillane said opioid abusers in Hampshire County have a greater likelihood of dying than being arrested. He’s supporting the governor’s bill to combat addiction and increase treatment.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, 222 people died from opioid related overdoses in Hampshire County from 2000 to 2016. Governor Charlie Baker filed a bill that could curb opioid addiction in Massachusetts—legislation supported by Hampshire County Sheriff Patrick Cahillane.

“The correctional facilities are not supposed to be drug treatment centers, but we have become them because we are required to keep people safe,” Cahillane said.

Cahillane said the bill will help people by providing funding for treatment programming, reducing overuse of prescription drugs and educating children in school systems.

The Governor’s opioid bill is currently under review by the Committee on Mental Health, substance use and recovery.