By Bob Katzen

$1.5 MILLION FOR TREATMENT PROGRAMS FOR OPIOID USE DISORDER – Attorney General Maura Healey today held a virtual roundtable and announced that $1.5 million has been awarded to 16 organizations across the state as to promote equity in treatment programs and recovery services for opioid use disorder (OUD) in Massachusetts.

The grant program, Promoting Cultural Humility in Opioid Use Disorder Treatment, supports treatment and recovery programs committed to standards that serve Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in the Bay State. It is funded by a settlement that Healey’s office reached with Injured Workers Pharmacy for unlawful and dangerous prescription drug dispensing practices.

“The opioid epidemic is far from over, and the COVID-19 crisis has only exacerbated barriers to care that have systemically and disproportionately harmed communities of color for far too long,” said Healey. “We have prioritized equity in our grant programs and awarded these funds to organizations that are committed to providing accessible recovery and treatment services to diverse patients across our state.”

“Women of color are disproportionately affected by the intersection of opioid use disorder and commercial sexual exploitation, but experiences of trauma, racism, and stigma related to addiction and the sex trade create deep distrust of healthcare,” said Abigail Judge of the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, who leads a project to improve services for women jointly affected by substance use and commercial sexual exploitation. “This grant will allow our team at Mass General Hospital’s Bridge Clinic to increase access to … care for women of color through an expansion of specialized peer support, an outreach-based referral pathway and evaluation of this model through conversation with survivors and other community stakeholders.”

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