As expected, the Massachusetts House of Representatives Wednesday approved a bill designed to curb the state’s opioid crisis.
The vote was unanimous, reports the State House News Service.
With Senate approval and Gov. Charlie Baker's signature, the legislation wouldlimit the size of first-time opioid prescriptions to a week's worth of the pills and require schools to screen students for signs of substance abuse.
The bill is part of a compromise reached by a six-member conference committee after almost seven weeks of Baker voicing the need for stronger legislation to combat opioid addiction.
Beyond limiting first-time quantities, the bill also sets a 24-hour evaluation period in emergency rooms for overdose victims seeking help, and it allows patients to only fill portions of their prescriptions at one time.
This compromise bill differed from Baker’s original proposal, which would have let doctors involuntarily commit patients for 72 hours in drug treatment facilities and restricted first-time pain killer prescriptions to three days' worth of the drugs.
The bill is scheduled for a vote in the Senate on Thursday.
Additional reporting from the State House News Service.