BOSTON (WWLP) – House lawmakers made some significant changes to Governor Charlie Baker’s bill aimed at preventing overdose deaths.
The Governor’s proposal would control how doctors prescribe addictive painkillers to patients. His plan would limit first-time opioid prescriptions to a three-day supply.
The House version isn’t as extreme. It would allow a patient to receive a week’s worth of painkillers. The House bill would require a substance abuse evaluation for drug addicts who show up to an emergency room suffering from an apparent overdose.
It doesn’t, however, pave the way for addicts to seek treatment. One lawmaker told 22News the state must first figure out a way to expand treatment services before they can force addicts to get help.
State Rep. Liz Malia, (D) Boston, said, “We have to figure out how to get those beds put together, how to staff them, how to build that system up so that we can really make a difference in terms of the outcomes.”
House lawmakers are expected to take action on a drug abuse prevention bill next month.