As part of MOAR's mission we seek to educate the public about policy issues important to people in recovery. Find highlights and current factsheets here.
Improving Addiction Services
The Massachusetts Coalition for Addiction Services (MCAS) is a group of statewide organizations that have come together to speak with one voice to strengthen support for funding for addiction prevention, treatment and recovery support services. We thank policymakers for supporting our 2019 priorities that brought 5 new DPH-funded peer recovery centers to our state, more jail diversion treatment, and some support for the successful MA Access to Recovery program. For the 2020, we are asking for support for addiction workforce development, family sober housing, and even more Recovery Centers! Due to uncertainty in federal funding we will also continue to seek money needed to sustain Access to Recovery Program.
In addition to state support for addiction treatment, we believe that private insurance (employer provided) companies should provide improved coverage for addiction services. While MassHealth (Medicaid) now pays for 90+ days of inpatient treatment and services like Recovery Coaching, private insurers are required to cover only 14 days of inpatient treatment. Senator Keenan has re-introduced a Bill S.1150- "An Act providing access to full spectrum addiction treatment services" that would require private insurance companies to cover 30 days of inpatient treatment. This would encourage treatment providers to expand the number of long-term beds available.
Criminal Justice Reform
At MOAR, we believe that addiction is a public health issue rather than a criminal issue, but about 80% of MA inmates have a history of addiction. We support reforms that would result in more people with addictions getting treatment and support rather than just jail and collateral consequences. In 2018 MOAR worked in coalition with many organizations to educate lawmakers resulting in the Commonwealth's first Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform in decades. It included sentencing reform, reduced CORI sealing times, lower fines and fees and much more!
For 2019 we are working on innovative policies to make sure that more people with addictions get treatment, not jail:
S.793 "An Act Relative to Treatment, Not Imprisonment" is meant to align probation orders with addiction science. Simply, it would prevent courts from incarcerating a person with an addiction disorder for relapse while they are engaged in treatment. This would allow individuals to seek help for relapse and engage more genuinely with their providers.
H.1700 "An Act ensuring access to addiction services" would end the practice of sending men who have not been accused of any crime to correctional facilities when they are civilly committed under section 35.
Addressing the Opioid Epidemic with Special Legislation and Commissions
The 2018 CARE Act was designed to combat the ongoing opioid overdose crisis. Importantly this bill will make Medication Assisted Treatment available in certain jails and prisons, improve access to treatment through emergency rooms, expand school-based prevention, regulate prescriptions, and more. The CARE Act also created commissions to study issues and make recommendation on policy improvements to the legislature. MOAR was placed on 4 of these commissions and we want to make sure that recovery voices are heard. Please visit the commission websites and reach out to the listed staff member to get involved in any of these commissions:
Recovery Coaching– Building Effective Standards, Certification, and Payment
Contact Kim Krawczyk - Kim@moar-recovery.org
Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) – Looking at data, improving access.
Contact Jared Owen - Jared@moar-recovery.org
Promote Prevention -- improving community and school based education
Contact Kirsten Doherty - Kirsten@moar-recovery.org
Section 35 – Involuntary Commitment to Treatment – data, improvement?
Contact Maryanne Frangules Maryanne@moar-recovery.org
AGO Opioid Task Force
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey has pledged to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable for their role in the opioid epidemic. As part of the ongoing legal process, we are looking for input.
If Massachusetts wins a law suit against the pharmaceutical companies for their role in the opioid epidemic –
Where should the money go?
How should it be used?
How should it be monitored?
Will we help to save lives, support recovery,
Build in quality treatment, and prevent addiction?
Will we stop pharmaceuticals from inventing more addictive drugs?
Please reach out to Maryanne Frangules at Maryanne@MOAR-Recovery.org with your input or stay tuned to MOAR for an upcoming survey.
You Tell Us!
Massachusetts now has federal government approval for a MassHealth 1115 Waiver, which is the official title of a program which allows the state to break away from national Medicaid standards with a new design to improve MassHealth coverage. The Federal government has agreed to contribute $150 million over five years to expand Medicaid benefits in Massachusetts to cover clinical services for people in addiction treatment previously billed to DPH-BSAS. For every dollar the state spends on these services moving forward we get 50 cents back. With those funds the state plans to create 400 or more treatment beds including facilities to care for people with co-occurring mental health and substance use issues. The new design also includes coverage for addiction and recovery services such as Recovery Coaching. MOAR is now taking part on Consumer Advisory Groups related to the implementation of new MassHealth and OneCare programs for people with addiction disorders. We want to hear from you about your experiences. Please reach out to Jared Owen Jared@MOAR-Recovery.org
MOAR strives to be a voice all people in recovery, families, and allies in the Commonwealth. All of our priorities come from our members and from listening to struggles people face while trying to get treatment and sustain recovery. We also seek to identify local and personal needs such the need for a Recovery Center in a certain region or the lack of safe, sober housing for families in recovery. We encourage you to come to one of our events or regional Action for Recovery Meetings listed on our calendar and Facebook page. You can also just call the MOAR office at 617-308-8759 or email Jared Owen.
During 2019 we are organizing additional regional policy forums to cover Western MA and we will be releasing a comprehensive public policy survey soon. We offer Recovery Messaging and Advocacy 101 trainings to help people in recovery learn to tell their stories to educate policymakers about addiction and recovery. Please contact us to request a training in your area. Our stories have power.
Your Voices are MOAR Needed! Contact your legislators and respond to MOAR Calls to Action in your inbox.