House approves opioid bill, rejects involuntary treatment

July 12, 2018

BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts House has approved new steps to deal with opioid addiction, but without an involuntary treatment provision.

The bill passed by the House Wednesday night would instead create a special commission to study Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s plan for allowing medical professionals to hold patients for up to 72 hours for substance abuse treatment.

The commission would have one year to report its findings.

Republican lawmakers who tried unsuccessfully to restore the involuntary hold said the proposal has already been studied enough and should be implemented without further delay.

The House bill would expand access to medication-assisted treatment for drug users in hospital settings. It also calls for training and credentialing of “recovery coaches” who work with patients to overcome addiction.

The bill now moves to the Senate.

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