In Massachusetts, tens of millions of dollars each year are set aside in the state budget to combat drug abuse and addiction, but one representative has suggested that drug companies should help foot the bill.
Representative James O’Day has urged the state to pass his bill (H-3564) that would impose a fee on the producers of opioids and benzodiazepines that are selling their product in Massachusetts. The money collected from this fee, if imposed, will be used for education, prevention, recovery and treatment. Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker has already proposed a 15 percent tax on drug manufacturers’ sale of opioids, which is projected to generate close to $14 million. This money will go toward addiction treatment. Representative O’Day’s proposed bill would mean that these manufacturers would be required to cover state expenses for addiction treatment up to $75 million a year.
More than 1,900 people in Massachusetts died of an opioid overdose in 2018, as reported by the State’s Department of Public Health. This crisis is not solely in Massachusetts. The opioid epidemic has also ravaged Florida, as well as at least a dozen other states. Every one of these states is spending millions of dollars each year on programs to alleviate the crisis. Massachusetts’ new approach could dramatically change the financial burden of the state.
Turning Point of Tampa’s goal is to always provide a safe environment and a solid foundation in 12-Step recovery, in tandem with quality individual therapy and groups. We have been offering Licensed Residential Treatment for Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis in Tampa since 1987.