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US Attorney’s Office reaches agreement with Trial Court over disability discrimination allegations

US Attorney Rachael Rollins announced Thursday that an agreement has been reached with the Massachusetts Trial Court resolving allegations that its drug court violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against people with Opioid Use Disorder.

A complaint to the US Attorney’s Office claimed the Trial Court discriminated against people taking medication for Opioid Use Disorder when they were ordered to stop taking their medication without medical assessment, the office said in a statement. The drug court personnel also required or pressured participants to take Vivitrol as a treatment.

Under the terms of the agreement, all 25 drug courts in the state will be required to have only licensed prescribers or opioid treatment programs make decisions regarding a participant’s treatment plan, including the type of medication and dosage. Treatment plans will be developed by the licensed prescriber or program after an individualized assessment.


“The opioid crisis has impacted nearly every household and family unit in the Commonwealth. My family is no exception,” Rollins said in the statement. “Sadly, in Massachusetts per capita rates of opioid-related deaths are above the national average. To combat this public health crisis we need to be doing everything possible to save lives. That includes ensuring access to all forms of medical treatment for [Opioid Use Disorder].”

The new policy marks the office’s 14th settlement since May 2018 over Americans with Disabilities Act violations arising from Opioid Use Disorder treatment, the office said.

Madison Mercado can be reached at madison.mercado@globe.com.