Opioid and prescription drug abuse is on the rise in Massachusetts and has been for awhile. In the month of January, there were several overdoses in this area. Fortunately first responders arrived to assist many of these individuals by administering Narcan.
We urge Governor Charlie Baker not to debate the word “cuts” and let the $5 million be added to the budget to increase the number of substance abuse counselors in the state. The funding of Narcan and the training programs for individuals who administer Narcan must be increased.
In our region we know of deaths that are occurring due to opiate overdoses. Substance abuse is a very serious problem facing numerous families.
The $5 million the Governor is looking to save is miniscule in relation to the $32 billion state budget. Certainly opioid abuse is an issue that can’t wait until tomorrow to be addressed. The Governor said that this issue would be a top priority in his administration. Attorney General Maura Healey is leading an effort to address opioid and prescription drug abuse. We hope these two newly elected state officials can work together – with the right amount of funding – to fully combat the problem.
Mahatmi Gandhi once said, “A nation’s greatness is measure by how it treats its weakest members.”
And this issue is an example of the message that Gandhi was trying to convey.