MPHA is pleased to see that Governor Baker’s Opioid Task Force highlights prevention strategies to address our state’s public health epidemic. The report, Recommendations of the Governor’s Opioid Working Group, found that prevention will be key in reducing youth drug use and in curbing addiction stemming from prescriptions for painkillers. The report outlines a need for prevention education in schools, education for parents around the signs of addiction and how to monitor prescriptions for teens, improving the state’s prescription monitoring program and increasing public awareness.
The Task Force also recommends supporting alternate pain therapies as a long-term prevention strategy.In addition to prevention, the Opioid Task Force recommends intervention, treatment, and recovery measures. The Task Force also recommends that addiction be treated like any other chronic disease and that primary care physicians screen for addiction for earlier intervention and treatment.
In the past ten years, more than twice as many people have died from unintentional opioid overdoses than have died from automobile accidents in Massachusetts. The number of deaths has increased steeply in the most recent years.
For more information on the state’s opioid epidemic: