Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, today released the following statement in response to Governor Baker signing legislation addressing opioid addiction prevention and treatment:

“Addiction is a public health concern, not a criminal justice issue. With this legislation, Beacon Hill has moved to treat it as such. We are particularly grateful for new programs to provide medication-assisted treatment in several Massachusetts jails and prisons, an important step to expanding access to treatment for all people suffering from addiction.

“Today is also a victory for patient privacy. Massachusetts now joins over a dozen other states in requiring a warrant for law enforcement access to patient prescription records, because sensitive patient data deserves traditional safeguards. This policy affirms that substance abuse is squarely a health care issue and protects the doctor-patient relationship."