Committee Gives Green Light To Gov. Baker's Opioid Bill

massachusetts state house

(Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery approved a redraft of Gov. Charlie Baker's opioid bill Thursday, continuing an effort Baker began years ago to try to give Massachusetts the tools needed to battle the opioid crisis.

Among other things, the bill requires hospitals to stock medications that could be used as alternatives to street drugs like heroin and fentanyl.

Gov. Baker said it's imperative that the bill move forward.

"I think this piece of legislation is incredibly important," he said. "The one thing I've said about this issue is, it took ten years or more to get into this mess, it will take more than ten to get out."

He says the most important part of this measure would be to build a framework around recovery coaches--people who help drug users get off the stuff and stay off.

"Even though we've seen a drop in deaths and a drop in prescriptions and a leveling off in overdoses, we're still losing 4-5 people a day," he said. "We still have a long way to go."

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports

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