Malia: New Substance Abuse Law Enhances Education, Prevention, Intervention and Treatment Options

On March 9, I joined my colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature to pass substance abuse legislation that enhances education and prevention initiatives and increases intervention and treatment options statewide. This opioid epidemic has killed too many of our loved ones. The numbers are staggering. According to the Department of Public Health (DPH), the 1,099 confirmed cases of unintentional opioid overdose deaths in 2014 – or four people every day – represent a 65% increase over the 668 overdoses in 2012, and a 21% increase over the 911 overdose cases in 2013. In 2014, there were 4.4 million prescriptions written in Massachusetts, yielding 240 million opioids for a total population of 6.7 million people.