Marshfield's 2nd Annual Vigil to observe National Overdose Awareness Day. Marshfield FACTs placed 1,379 purple flags recognizing all of the residents in Massachusetts who lost their lives to opioid overdose in 2015.
A special thank- you to former Marshfield Selectman Matt McDonough and all of the volunteers for coordinating this vigil.
For those whose lives have been touched by opioid addiction, rhetoric promising a solution to this epidemic is becoming redundant. I began my efforts against the opioid epidemic in my hometown, when my first action as Weymouth Town Council President was to establish a Substance Abuse and Mental Health Committee. As your Senator, I have handled dozens of cases with constituents coping with addicts. I believe intervention must be as personal and community-based as possible in order to have the greatest effect.
Governor Baker’s opioid bill, now law, limits prescriptions, reinforces recovery, increases punishment for distribution, and educates minors to the dangers of opiates. Our State Budget process included significant steps to increase treatment services, which I was proud to support. In FY 16, the Commonwealth supported approximately $158 million in opioid abuse prevention services. The FY 17 budget increases this support over 8% to a total of $171 million.
We must enforce our new legislation to ensure that illegal substances are not being distributed and pharmaceuticals are not flooding patients with excess painkillers. I intend to see that the Opioid Law is exercised and that we test every option to cure this crisis.