20 Feb New Bill in Massachusett’s to Address Heroin Problem
One of the biggest threats that faces the people of our nation today is the growing heroin and opiate epidemic that is growing in various regions of the country. This raging drug problem has brought us to the point where many people are realizing that our tactics of dealing with addiction in the previous decades have been vastly inadequate, and even counterproductive. This public health issue deserves a deeper look, and far better legislation to address it. Recently, there was a breakthrough in the Massachusetts House of Representatives when state Congressmen unanimously passed bill H.3944, which is meant to comprehensively address the addiction of heroin and opioids. What does all of this mean, in context, though…
Heroin problem in the Northeast
States in the Northeast United States, like Massachusetts, have become flagships for the heroin epidemic that is sweeping the nation. This trend really picked up in the 1990’s, the fault of which lies in at the feet of incredibly strong prescription drugs that were peddled to the masses by pharmacies. These drugs, such as OxyContin, were powerful and addictive, if abused, which they were. This abuse continued for almost two decades, but was eventually challenged when companies began to look for signs of addiction, and began putting obstacles in place for dependent individuals to get legal opiates. However, many addicts have began to turn to street drugs, such as heroin, to get a high. Of the regions of the country, the Northeastern states have suffered this epidemic disproportionately, and something needed to be done about it.
New Massachusetts bill
This bill would first seek to put a dent in the prescription opiate problem, by limiting the situations that a doctor is able to prescribe such powerful medications. Also, anyone who entered an emergency room, due to an opioid overdose, would be required to have a psychologist do an evaluation to see if they demonstrated any signs of substance abuse. Along with these proposals, many new plans to educate patients and students about the effects of opiates are to be enacted throughout the state.
Worry of resources
All of the bills and good intentions in the world can’t solve this epidemic, unless there is substantial money and labor that can carry out the House’s plan. One of the primary worries about the bill is that it won’t allocate enough resources into the programs that are going to be doing more. Many of the state’s beds and resources are already used up, under the current system. Unles more resources and infrastructure can back these new obligations, then the problem may easily persist.