In their latest effort to stem the opioid epidemic, Massachusetts lawmakers took a step Thursday toward establishing mandatory three-day substance use therapy for those in peril and requiring hospitals to stock buprenorphine or other medication to counter street drugs like heroin and fentanyl.
Senator Cindy Friedman, an Arlington Democrat and the committee’s cochairwoman, said she has concerns about some provisions — including the involuntary holds. A top priority for Friedman is making access to treatment easier, especially for people with both substance use disorder and mental illness. ‘Right now, it’s really tough to get access to treatment, especially if you have a mental illness,’’ Friedman said.
A host of factors affect access to treatment, said Friedman, who listed “insurance companies; rates we pay providers; how insurance companies determine who’s in a network, who’s not in a network; the kind of treatment that’s available for in-patient.’’