Many local religious leaders say a new part of their mission is to understand and help with the ravages of the opioid epidemic, but the issue of spirituality and addiction treatment is complicated.
If approved, the Massachusetts Medical Society says it would become the first statewide physicians group to endorse the idea of a room where a doctor or nurse monitors drug users as they use illegal substances.
Public bathrooms are one of the few places where people can find privacy away from home to use intravenous drugs. That's leaving staff at fast food restaurants, libraries and town halls struggling with how to address safety concern for the public and for users.
Over four years, 14 patients were seen at Massachusetts hospitals with an uncommon amnesia that is like severe short-term memory loss, and changes to a key brain memory center. Thirteen also had a history of drug use.
"I have not met a single primary care provider who has decided to start opioids for a patient. Rather, we are dealing with the 'inherited' pain patient, who has been prescribed opioids by someone else."