Important Focus: Updates on Legislation Addressing Opioid Crisis

On October 15, 2015 Governor Baker proposed a bill to address the opioid crisis in Massachusetts. “An Act Relative to Substance Use Treatment, Education, and Prevention” includes a 72-hour limit on an opioid supply prescribed by a doctor, establishes a new requirement for five hours of training every two years for medical professionals who may prescribe opioids, and requires that medical professionals employ the existing prescription monitoring tool before prescribing an opioid, without exception. The bill also addresses the current practice of imprisoning women suffering from addiction if beds are not available in treatment centers by creating additional treatment centers approved by DPH and DMH. The bill ignited controversy for its limit of opioid prescriptions to a three day supply and because it includes a provision allowing for physicians to involuntarily hold patients if they believe the patient will suffer serious harm if untreated for substance abuse.

Read An Act Relative to Substance Use Treatment, Education, and Prevention