Like many states, Massachusetts is experiencing a prescription drug and heroin epidemic. Last year, more than 2,000 residents died of an overdose. Overdose deaths now outnumber those due to car accidents. Not only is this a public safety issue – it is a public health issue. The AG’s Office is committed to ending this crisis.

Immediately after taking office, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced that combatting this public health crisis would be her top priority, and she established an Opiate Task Force within her office. The Task Force, comprised of health care experts, law enforcement, advocates and public policy experts, is dedicated to tackling opiate and prescription drug abuse using a multi-disciplinary approach that includes enforcement, treatment, prevention and education efforts.

Project Here

Project Here is an innovative partnership between the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office, the GE Foundation, The Herren Project, and Epicenter Experience that will bring new substance use prevention resources to every public middle school in Massachusetts, starting in the Fall of 2017.

Click here to learn more about Project Here and get involved.

Narcan Fund

Naloxone (commonly known by the brand name Narcan) is a life-saving medication that reverses opioid overdoses. In 2016, first responders administered more than 20,000 doses of naloxone across Massachusetts. Police and fire departments rely heavily on this medication, which they must purchase themselves. In 2015, after reaching a $325,000 settlement with one of the manufacturers of naloxone, Attorney General Healey partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Legislature to create a Narcan Fund for cities and towns, known as the Municipal Naloxone Bulk Purchase Trust Fund. The Fund allows municipalities to purchase naloxone for use by first responders at a heavily discounted rate. 

To make a contribution to the Fund, please write a check to: Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Please write “Narcan Fund” in the memo line of the check, and mail the check to:

State Office of Pharmacy
369 East Street
Tewksbury, MA 01876

If you have any questions, please contact our office at (617) 963-2140 or send an email to Catherine.Madden@state.ma.us.

Under state law, funds from public or private sources or from appropriations authorized by the Massachusetts Legislature and specifically designated to be credited to the fund are applied to provide price reductions for municipalities purchasing naloxone through the program and are not subject to further appropriation; monies remaining in the fund at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund.

A map of the 41 Massachusetts communities receiving $700,000 in youth opioid prevention grant funding.

Utilizing $700,000 from settlements with CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens, the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) launched the Youth Opioid Prevention (YOP) grant program.  The YOP grant is designed to support school-based prevention education initiatives to address opioid dependence and addiction in Massachusetts.  The programs under this grant will run through April 2019.

Following the announcement of the grant program, the AG’s Office received 120 applications totaling nearly $4 million in requested funding from schools, community health centers, municipalities, police departments, and nonprofits.

The organizations receiving grant funding from the AG’s Office are:

Barnstable County

Barnstable Public Schools

Monomoy Regional School District

Berkshire County

Berkshire District Attorney’s Office

Bristol County

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office

New Bedford Police Department

Norton Police Department

Dukes County

Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools

Essex County

Beverly Public Schools

City of Haverhill / Haverhill Public Schools

City of Newburyport / Newburyport Public Schools

Essex District Attorney’s Office

Gloucester Public Schools

Marblehead Public Schools

North Andover Public Schools

Salem Public Schools

Franklin County

Franklin County Regional Council of Governments

Hampden County

Agawam Public Schools

Westfield Public Schools

Longmeadow Public Schools

Hampshire County

Belchertown Public Schools

Collaborative for Educational Services

Middlesex County

Lowell Public Schools

Malden Public Schools

Marlborough School District

Medford Public Schools

Norfolk County

Braintree Public Schools

Weymouth Police Department

Plymouth County

Brockton Public Schools

Hull Public Schools

Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office

South Shore Charter Public School

Suffolk County

Charlestown Coalition

Chelsea Public Schools

East Boston Neighborhood Health Center

Peer Health Exchange

Project R.I.G.H.T

St. Mary’s Center for Women & Children

Worcester County

Auburn Public Schools

Narragansett Regional School District and Gardner Public Schools

The Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts

Worcester County District Attorney’s Office

Good Samaritan Law Campaign Banner

The Massachusetts 911 Good Samaritan Law was passed in 2012 in order to encourage people to call 911 during an overdose emergency. The Law protects people who call 911 during an overdose from being charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Do you know someone struggling with addiction? Do you need help? Call the Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline: 1-800-327-5050 or visit their website. The Helpline provides free and anonymous information for alcohol and other drug use problems. www.helpline-online.com.

If there is a medical emergency, call 911.

The Good Samaritan Law

The Massachusetts Good Samaritan Law encourages people to seek emergency medical assistance for people in distress in order to reduce the chance of harm or death. Since the lives of those who overdose on opioids relies on the help of bystanders, the law has significant potential to help reduce the impact of the opioid epidemic.

The law protects you.

The Massachusetts Good Samaritan Law protects victims and those who call 9-1-1 for help from charge, prosecution, and conviction for possession or use of controlled substances. The Law, Chapter 94C, Section 34A: “Immunity from prosecution under Secs. 34 or 35 for persons seeking medical assistance for self or other experiencing a drug-related overdose” can be found on the Massachusetts Legislature General Laws website.

Posters about the Make the Right Call Campaign and the Good Samaritan Law can be downloaded here pdf format of Make the Right Call poster

A poster on the Good Samaritan Law can be downloaded here pdf format of Good Samaritan Law 
file size 2MB

Free Campaign Materials

Massachusetts Substance Abuse Referrals

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, get help by calling Massachusetts Substance Abuse Referrals.
www.Helpline-Online.com
800-327-5050

Family and peer support

For local family and peer support, get help by calling Learn2 Cope.
www.Learn2Cope.org
508-738-5148

Partnership for Drug-Free Kids

For more information on prescription drugs and opioids, and how to protect your family, go to Partnership for Drug-Free Partnership
www.drugfree.org
855-378-4373

Section 35 Helpline Information

The Massachusetts Bar Association has launched a free legal assistance program to help those who are seeking court-ordered inpatient treatment for a family member or friend struggling with opioid addiction. 
844-843-6221
HelpUs@MassBar.org

Massachusetts Health and Human Services

Stop Addiction image and link

Attorney General's Office

617-727-2200