BOSTON – Massachusetts needs two major things in order for a supervised drug use site to open here for the first time, a lawmaker backing the idea said Tuesday.
Sen. Will Brownsberger is the sponsor of a bill (S 1081) that would allow the Department of Public Health to approve the implementation of “safer drug consumption programs” in Massachusetts. Speakers at Tuesday’s panel described the sites as a way to prevent opioid deaths, encourage drug users to enter treatment, and provide a sense of safety and dignity for people who can otherwise be subject to stigma.
An opioid bill (H 4033) filed by Baker, which aims to expand access to treatment and strengthen education and prevention efforts, is before the Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery Committee. Sen. Cindy Friedman, the committee’s Senate chair, said last month that the committee wanted to take extra time to look at its substance use and behavioral health-related bills “and see what, if anything, we should move into the bill that the governor has filed.”