Recent data shows that this public health crisis continues to grow throughout Massachusetts. In my own community of Foxborough, there were more opiate related deaths recorded in 2016 than in the previous four years combined. Our approach cannot be strictly punitive as this is a mental health issue more than a criminal justice issue.
For me, this epidemic is not just an abstract theory. As the workplace representative for hundreds of my co-workers, I have seen first-hand the destruction that substance abuse, particularly opioid use causes families. I was vehemently opposed to the Governor’s proposed cuts last year to vital programs and services that deal with this crisis on a daily basis. I believe we must increase the amount of beds and treatment facilities in Massachusetts, mandate expanded insurance coverage and ensure the accessibility and affordability of treatment services for those that are suffering the grip of addiction. As your Senator, I will also work to pass legislation that is proactive in its approach to identify and counsel those that are most at risk of becoming addicted in the future.