Bill would encourage police to help addicts find treatment - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Bill would encourage police to help addicts find treatment

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(Image courtesy: MGN Online) (Image courtesy: MGN Online)

By STEVE LeBLANC
Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) - Legislation aimed at encouraging police departments to help heroin addicts seek treatment instead of jail has passed the U.S. House.

The legislation was supported by Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton and inspired by a program pioneered by the Gloucester Police Department. The program connects addicts to treatment programs instead of arresting them if they commit to getting clean.

The legislation is among several bills aimed at combating opioid addiction and sponsored by members of the state's Democratic congressional delegation that passed the House this week.

Two bills pushed by Rep. Katherine Clark also passed, including one designed to reduce the amount of unused pain medications fueling the opioid epidemic.

Rep. Joe Kennedy says he supports the push to fight opioid abuse, but worries that Republicans were blocking additional funding for the programs.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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