Senator Friedman Co-Chairs 7-Hour Public Hearing on the Governor’s Opioid Bill Press Release

BOSTON — On Tuesday, Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington) and Representative Denise Garlick (D-Needham) co-chaired the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery’s public hearing on H.4033, An Act relative to combatting addiction, accessing treatment, reducing prescriptions, and enhancing prevention (“The CARE Act”), filed by Governor Charlie Baker.

During the Governor’s testimony, Senator Friedman emphasized the need for the CARE Act to more directly address access barriers to mental health treatment, especially given the prevalence of individuals in the state with co-occurring conditions of substance use disorder and mental illness.

“There needs to be a greater focus on mental illness in this bill,” said Senator Friedman. “Upwards of 40-50% of individuals seeking treatment for a substance use disorder also suffer from a mental health condition. Many of these individuals choose to self-medicate with substances to manage their mental illness and do not have a clear pathway to recovery for either diagnosis.”

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