Gov. Charlie Baker has signed a bill designed to reduce opioid abuse in the state in part by limiting prescription drugs’ availability.
On Monday morning, Baker signed into law new legislation that will put stronger mechanisms in place to combat drug abuse, including limits on first-time painkiller prescriptions and a requirement for schools to verbally screen students for drug use, WHDH reported.
A patient’s first painkiller prescription will now be capped at a seven-day supply, WCVB reported in a related article. The new law also allows patients to fill only a portion of their painkiller prescriptions at one time.
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The governor wanted new opioid-abuse legislation as the state struggled to overcome a trend of opioid deaths, WCVB stated. Gov. Baker said that four people in Massachusetts die every day from opioids.
The governor plans for the new restrictions to go into effect immediately, according to WHDH.
The newly signed bill was passed unanimously by the Massachusetts House and Senate last week, WCVB added.