COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
STATE HOUSE, BOSTON 02133-1053
Senator Joan B. Lovely
2nd Essex District
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
SENATOR LOVELY TO STUDY DRUG ADDICTION TREATMENT OPTIONS AS PART OF NEW SPECIAL COMMITTEE
(Boston) Today Senator Joan Lovely announced that on Thursday she will attend the first meeting of a newly established special committee tasked with studying the effectiveness of drug addiction treatment options in the Commonwealth and Section 35 of Chapter 123 of the General Laws. Senate President Therese Murray assigned Senator Lovely, the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, to the special committee earlier this month.
“As a state, Massachusetts should be leading the country in addiction treatment programs,” said Senator Lovely. “I’ve met far too many families of drug users, and it’s clear to me that the Section 35 practice needs to be reviewed. Our focus needs to be on supporting treatment options that are designed for real recovery, not just short-term relief.”
The special committee will be chaired by Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan. In addition to Senator Lovely, assigned members on the special committee include Senate Chair of the Joint Committee of the Judiciary William N. Brownsberger, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government Linda Dorcena Forry, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health John F. Keenan, and Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Ways and Means Senator Richard J. Ross.
Section 35 of Chapter 123 of the Massachusetts General Laws allows the courts to commit an individual whose alcohol or drug addiction puts themselves or others at risk to inpatient substance abuse treatment for a period of up to 90 days. If no beds are available at a licensed treatment facility, men are sent to the correctional facility at Bridgewater and women are sent to the correctional facility in Framingham. The Women’s Addiction Treatment Center in New Bedford and the Men’s Addiction Treatment Center in Brockton also provide treatment for individuals committed under Section 35.