Leading the fight against addiction

Every day, lives are being ruined and cut short by the addiction epidemic we have seen across our city, state and country.  At the State House and in our communities, Rep. Stanley has become a community leader in the statewide fight against addiction. He has worked hard with members of the House and Senate as well as local community leaders to combat the opioid crisis and expand the necessary services for the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable citizens.  Rep. Stanley has organized several community meetings including a presentation and question and dialogue with MA Secretary of Human Services Mary Lou Sudders on what the state is doing about the opioid crises and what communities can do.

In the district:

Rep. Stanley helps prevent substance abuse in the community by serving as a board member on the Waltham Partnership for Youth and Waltham Youth and Community Coalition.  He has organized several community meetings including a presentation, question and dialogue session with MA Secretary of Human Services Mary Lou Sudders on what the state is doing about the opioid crises and what communities can do.  He also spoke at the Waltham Overcoming Addiction (WOA) community forum.

On Beacon Hill:

Rep. Stanley supported the passage of a fiscal year 2017 budget which supports 45 new treatment beds at Taunton State Hospital with $13 million and revives a popular program from the 1990s that would give police departments $2.5 million in grants for community policing strategies.

While the state budgeted approximately $158 million in opioid abuse prevention services in FY16, Rep. Stanley and his colleagues continued ramping up efforts to combat opioid addiction by increasing support over 8 percent ($13 million) to a total of $171 million in FY17. This additional funding will support 2,150 adult residential recovery opioid beds, 150 more than last year.

Rep. Stanley supported House Bill 4056, an act relative to substance use, treatment, education and prevention which was signed into law on 3/14/16.  He spoke on the House floor and shared his own experience with recovery from alcoholism and family members’ drug addiction on behalf of this bill which:

  • Limits first-time opioid prescriptions for adults and all opiate prescriptions for minors to a seven-day supply
  • Gives patients the ability to request that a doctor prescribe less than the standard number of opioid pills or have a pharmacist fill less than the full amount of an opiate prescription
  • Will make screening of middle and high school students for signs of substance abuse and addiction more regular across Massachusetts.
  • Patients presenting in emergency rooms with symptoms of an overdose to be screened within 24 hours for signs of addiction before being discharged
  • Requirement for drug companies to participate in a DPH “drug stewardship” program
  • Require training in substance abuse disorders for medical licenses (medical and dental schools worked with Baker to make addiction education part of their core curriculum earlier in the year)
  • Requires doctors to check the prescription monitoring program database each time before writing a prescription for a Schedule 2 or Schedule 3 narcotic and talk to patients about addiction each time an opioid prescription is written

Rep. Stanley has also supported the following legislation:

Chapter 8 of the Acts of 2016, an act relative to civil commitments for alcohol and substance use disorders. This bill states that Massachusetts women civilly committed for substance abuse treatment will no longer be sent to prison and instead will be referred to one of the 60 new state hospital beds slated to open this year.

Chapter 258 of the Acts of 2014, an act to Increase Opportunities for Long-Term Substance Abuse, which went into effect 10/1/15.  This legislation mandates up to 14 days of medical detox (ATS) and Step Down Services (CSS) levels of care as well as new reporting by the Chief Medical Examiner’s office regarding overdose deaths.

Rep. Stanley also supported the Commonwealth’s Municipal Naxolone Bulk Purchase Trust Fund in which Attorney General Healey made an agreement with Amphastar Pharmaceuticals – maker of naloxone (Narcan) – to pay more than $300,000 (10,000 doses of Narcan) into the new trust fund to make the medication more affordable to cities and towns. The fund will be administered by the DPH and municipalities will purchase Narcan directly from DPH.