Senate Approves Bill Aimed at Easing State’s Opioid Crisis
BOSTON (AP) - Massachusetts doctors and health insurers would be encouraged to take new approaches to treating pain in legislation unanimously approved by the Senate.
The measure, prompted by the state's deadly opioid addiction crisis, would provide a list of non-opioid pain medications and allow patients to indicate in their medical files they don't want to be given opioids under any circumstances.
Patients could also ask pharmacists to fill only part of a doctor's opioid prescription.
The Senate bill also would require public schools to question students to determine if they're at risk of substance abuse.
The measure passed Thursday night after several hours of debate. It now goes to the House.
State officials say deaths from heroin and other opioid-related overdoses have been increasing steadily in recent years.