The Grayken Center’s policy and advocacy leadership, guided by both harm reduction best practices and principles and our mission to ensure that treatment and support is available to every patient with substance use disorder, is critical to guiding the conversation on addiction policy in Massachusetts and beyond. The Grayken Center’s faculty experts keep policy makers informed on innovations in addiction medicine and provide them with the consultation and information they need to improve the availability and quality of care. In addition, the Grayken Center works closely with external partners at the local, state, and federal levels to foster programs connecting key stakeholders to the resources they need to push forward new horizons in addition care. 

The Grayken Center’s advocacy is guided by efforts to advance:

Harm Reduction: We believe in the set of ideas and interventions that aim to reduce harms associated with both drug use and damage drug policies. 

Workforce development: We believe that developing a well-trained, well supported addiction workforce is critical to providing effective addiction treatment. 

Low-barrier housing: We believe that the active use of drugs should not disqualify someone from receiving housing and that the widespread adoption of Housing First principles is  necessary in shelters and public housing. 

Take Action: 

Under Section 35, individuals in Massachusetts can be civilly committed to addiction treatment, sometimes in a prison or jail. Interested in changing that? Use the Section 35 toolkit to learn more about alternatives to Section 35, community-based organizations fighting for change, and information on how to contact your legislators to make your voice heard.

State Advocacy (Massachusetts): 

Bill Summary Status

H. 2088/S. 1272
An Act relative to preventing overdose deaths and increasing access to treatment

Creates a 10 year pilot program to open 2 or more supervised consumption sites Referred to the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery. Heard by the Committee on 9/27/2021. Recording available here
H. 2066/S. 1285
An Act ensuring access to addiction services
Reforms to Section 35 that would require both men and women be housed in DPH or DMH facilities instead of DOC facilities Heard by the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery on 11/8/2021. Recording available here. Referred to the Joint Committee on Healthcare Financing on 5/31/2022. 
H. 1462/S. 1035
An Act relative to treatment, not imprisonment
Mandates that if a person in pretrial release is engaged in treatment, then relapse shall not be considered a violation of their conditions of release and directs judicial officers to further consider treatment needs Referred to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary Heard by the Committee on 10/12/2021. Recording available here

Federal Advocacy

Bill Summary Status
H.R. 7666
Restoring Hope for Mental Health and Well-Being Act of 2022
Would enact key provisions of the MAT and MATE Acts below Introduced in the House 5/18/2022.
H.R. 3441/S. 1438
SUD/Opioid Workforce Act
Provides 1,000 additional Medicare GME-funded residency positions in Addiction Medicine and Addiction Psychiatry H.R. 3441 Referred to House Subcommittee on Health; S. 1438 Referred to Senate Committee on Finance
H.R. 1647/S. 340
TREATS Act (Telehealth Response to E-prescribing Addiction Therapy Service
Makes permanent the ability to prescribe buprenorphine without needing a prior in-person visit and bill Medicare for audio-only telehealth services H.R. 1647 Referred to House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security; S. 340 referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
H.R. 2067
MATE Act (Medication Access and Training Expansion)
Creates a requirement for all prescribers to complete training on treating and managing patients with OUD/SUD. Includes grant funding for schools to develop curricula Referred to House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
H.R. 955/S.285
Medicaid Reentry Act
Allows Medicaid payment for medical services furnished to an incarcerated individual for 30 days prior to release H.R. 955 Referred to Subcommittee on Health; S. 285 Referred to Senate Committee on Finance
H.R. 433/S. 485
Family Support Services for Addiction Act
Authorizes $25 million over five years in SAMHSA grants to support family community organizations that develop, expand, and enhance evidence-informed family support services H.R. 433 Passed the House on 5/12/21; Referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions

Public Policy Statements:

The Grayken Center’s expert faculty are sought out by state and federal lawmakers, as well as academic and research leaders to lend their knowledge for the crafting of public policy that aims to improve the lives of people who use drugs and expand access to care.  We welcome inquiries from policymakers to share our knowledge and collaborate on crafting effective policy. Please contact to learn more. 

We are proud to have provided input on: