A summit meeting held in New Bedford Thursday is seeking to devise strategies to help prevent the abuse of opioids in our region.

Rep. Robert Koczera attended the summit and applauded the formation of a regional coaliition. He says with four people dying each day across the state from overdoses, something must be done.

"This is a tough thing for families to deal with and its something we're going to have to learn more about, but clearly we can't turn a blind eye to it," said Koczera.

The summit was attended by health officials from New Bedford and eight other surrounding communities.

Koczera supported legislation on Beacon Hill this week to address opioid abuse issues in Massachusetts.

One provision would limit initial painkiller prescriptions to a seven-day supply, and require overdose victims to undergo a mental health evaluation within 24 hours of their appearance in an emergency room.