Massachusetts Senate approves substance abuse bill


BOSTON (AP) — The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously approved a bill that supporters say will help the state address a growing drug dependency problem in part by requiring health officials keep a closer eye on prescription drugs that could lead to addiction.

The bill passed on Tuesday would toughen the state’s prescription monitoring program and require pharmacists dispense an interchangeable abuse deterrent drug unless a physician has indicated that a substitution should not be made.

It would also mandate insurers reimburse for substance abuse treatment services delivered by licensed drug and alcohol counselors.

Senate President Therese Murray thanked her colleagues for acting on the bill, noting that drug addiction has become an epidemic in the state. She said she hoped the House would take up the measure.

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