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State Budget Includes Funding for Opioid Epidemic Crisis

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA(Massachusetts) (WGGB)–Governor Deval Patrick signs into law a $36.5 billion dollar state budget.

It’s the governor’s final budget of his administration since the governor is leaving office in January.

The budget includes additional funding for education, innovation, and infrastructure.

Governor Patrick and the state are investing 550-thousand dollars for a new detox center in Franklin County to help fight opioid abuse.

Drug overdose deaths are on the increase and those who work with addiction say a facility to provided treatment on demand is much-needed,”Opiate addiction is different from alcohol addiction and when someone is ready for help and they’re addicted and using at that level they typically have about a three-hour window to get help before they go into withdrawal. Opiate addiction is extremely uncomfortable, I’ve heard it is like the flu times one-thousand,” says Marissa Hebble, of the Opioid Education and Awareness Task Force.

Drug overdoses whether they’re from street drugs like heroin or prescription medication are one of the leading causes of death in Massachusetts.

The state is spending more money to fight the problem through a multi-faceted strategy, “Prevention, treatment, public education, recovery,” says Governor Patrick are the components of that plan.

John Merrigan, co-chair of the opioid education and awareness task force says the state investment in a Franklin County detox center is much-needed,” With that we’re hoping to go further down the road and get into the stabilization programs and long-term treatment :16 because it’s not like the alcohol addiction where 30 days and you’re back to work , this is years and years of effort to stay sober,” says John Merrigan, Co-chair of the Opioid Education and Awareness Task Force.

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