DPH strategizes to combat the opiate addiction & overdose crisis

An educational pamphlet and samples of naloxone, a drug used to counter the effects of opiate overdose. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

BOSTON (WWLP) – The Department of Public Health announced their strategy to fight the state’s severe drug problem, but it doesn’t come cheap.

The Patrick administration plans to tackle the state’s severe opiate problem by boosting prevention and intervention efforts, and by creating individualized treatment and recovery services.

All doctors will soon be required to enroll in a prescription monitoring program to prevent abusers from doctor shopping to get drugs.

The announcement comes after the Governor imposed a ban on the painkiller Zohydro, resulting in a lawsuit by the makers of the drug. The DPH stands by the ban saying there are other painkillers on the market.

According to Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett of the Dept. of Public Health, “This is a drug that hasn’t come to the market yet and so why add another drug to a situation that we’re trying to get a handle on.”

The Commissioner says the state will defend its action to ban the drug. Efforts to combat the opiate problem will cost $20-million.

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