Massachusetts opioid bill includes help for pain patients Boston Globe

The bill on opioids that the Massachusetts Legislature approved late Tuesday contains several provisions that have nothing to do with combating opioid addiction, but instead aim to help people often seen as casualties of that fight — those suffering from chronic pain.

Spooked by worries about addiction and poorly trained in pain management, many physicians have reduced or stopped prescribing medications for pain, and some avoid pain patients altogether, advocates say. At the same time, insurance often doesn’t cover other types of treatment for pain.

“For some people, they’re just uncomfortable with this notion that you give drugs to a person who has an addiction that’s chemical-based,” Senator Cindy F. Friedman, chairwoman of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery, said Wednesday.

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