Massachusetts House to debate Gov. Baker’s opioid bill

BOSTON (AP) – The Massachusetts House is preparing to debate Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s opioid legislation, minus one key element.

Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo says the House could take up the bill as early as this week. The legislation is aimed at helping curb the state’s opioid overdose crisis.

DeLeo said the House version of the bill won’t include a provision allowing medical professionals to order a three-day involuntary hold for those whose substance use disorder is likely to result in serious harm.

Baker also proposed a 72-hour involuntary hold in 2015, but lawmakers nixed the idea.

Massachusetts reported 2,016 confirmed or estimated opioid-related overdose deaths in 2017. The total was 133 less than in 2016.

DeLeo said many other of Baker’s other proposals will be included in the House bill.

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