2014-06-10T172534Z_1_LYNXMPEA590RA_RTROPTP_2_USA-CAMPAIGN

Massachusetts Governor unveils $20 million plan to tackle opioid drug abuse

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick addresses delegates during the first day of the Democratic National Convention in CharlotteMassachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Tuesday unveiled a $20 million package of proposals to tackle what he described as a crisis of addiction to opioid drugs in the state, and called for a summit of all six New England governors to address a broader regional response. A commission appointed by the governor, who in March declared addiction to opiate drugs a public health emergency, called for steps including a expanding treatment for drug addicts in state prisons and to create new live-in centers to treat addicts as young as 13 years old. “These actions will help enhance our network for treatment and recovery services to help communities and families struggling with addiction,” Patrick said at a Boston high school that provides treatment services for addicted teens. In Massachusetts alone, some 668 people died from opioid drug overdoses in 2012, almost double the level in 2000, according to the state report.

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