Baker to Offer Opioid Abuse Legislation 

Governor Charlie Baker

Governor Charlie Baker

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker is preparing to file a set of recommendations with the Legislature for dealing with the state’s opioid addiction crisis.

An 18-member task force appointed by Baker released a report earlier this year outlining a number of strategies to curtail what it called an “epidemic” in Massachusetts. State figures show deaths annually from opioid-related overdoses have roughly doubled in the past five years.

The task force said addiction should be considered a chronic medical condition and that barriers to treatment should be removed.

Baker is expected to file his legislation in the coming week.

The state Senate recently passed a wide-ranging bill that includes screening of public school students for potential substance abuse and encourages doctors to curb unnecessary prescriptions for painkillers that can lead to addiction.

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