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Report: Massachusetts needs to step up opioid abuse battle

May 15, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — A new report is recommending strategies to fight the state’s staggering opioid abuse problem, from providing startup grants to encourage community substance abuse prevention activities to increasing treatment options including more detox beds.

The Massachusetts Health Council is releasing the report Friday after talking to local groups trying to curb the addiction problem statewide.

Other recommendations include enforcing the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, releasing community level data on fatal and non-fatal opioid overdoses quickly, developing prevention education programs for students of all ages and parents, and discouraging the legalization of marijuana.

The council also said the state should pay for the opiate-blocking drug Vivitrol for inmates to reduce the craving for heroin and help them remain drug-free.

More than 1,000 people died from opioid-related overdoses in Massachusetts last year.

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