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Patrick Releases Plan Addressing Opiate Abuse

BOSTON — A state task force looking at the growing problem of opiate addiction recommends better treatment options for addicts, more treatment facilities and an effort to destigmatize drug addiction.

The task force convened by Gov. Deval Patrick released its recommendations Tuesday morning, which also include more treatment for drug addicts in the prison system.

“These actions will help enhance our network of treatment and recovery services to help communities and families struggling with addiction,” Patrick said in a statement. “I hope this work results in more families talking openly about issues of addiction in order to spark the process of healing and recovery.”

Patrick will meet June 17 at Brandeis University with the governors of other New England states to find regional solutions to the problem of opiate addiction, which he’s called a “public health emergency.”

The announcement comes as a federal judge on Tuesday will consider whether the Patrick administration’s latest attempt to restrict a Zohydro, a powerful new painkiller, violates the U.S. Constitution.

Reporting from the WBUR Newsroom and The Associated Press

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