OPIATE BRIEF

News of state legislative actions
10
May

Opiate Brief – including news of state legislative actions

Legislatures In the New England Region Continue to Pass Bills to Control Opioid Abuse]

Recent Legislation in Maine

Maine Legislature Overrides Governor LePage’s Veto of “Narcan” Bill

On April 29, both the Maine House and Senate voted to override the Governor’s veto of L.D. 1547, “An Act to Facilitate Access to Naloxone Hydrochloride” that would allow Narcan to be sold without a prescription.

To see the official count on this override, click here.


Governor Paul LePage Signs Opioid Prescribing Reform Bill

On April 19, Governor Paul R. LePage signed into law LD 1646, “An Act To Prevent Opiate Abuse by Strengthening the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program.”

The bill, introduced by the Governor, received bipartisan support. It mandates prescriber participation in the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), sets limits for the strength and duration of opioid prescriptions, and requires that prescribers submit opioid prescriptions electronically beginning next year and that they undergo addiction training every two years.

Read details of the new law.

Also on April 19, Gov. LePage signed L.D. 1447, a bill to add 200 treatment beds to a state correctional facility in Windham. In addition, it creates beds specifically for female offenders and a geriatric wing to care for older offenders.


Vermont Legislature Passes Bill to Combat Opioid Abuse

The Vermont legislature wound up its current session by passing Senate Bill 243, “An Act Relating to Combating Opioid Abuse in Vermont.” The bill now goes to Governor Peter Shumlin for his signature.

  • Items covered in the bill include:
  • Creation of Controlled Substances and Pain Management Advisory Council
  • Community grant program to support local opioid prevention strategies
  • Program for disposal of unused prescription drugs
  • Establishment of regional system of opioid addiction treatment
  • Appropriations to fund elements of the legislation

To read the details of the law, here is the link to the Journal of the Senate, pages 1774-1789.


Recent Legislation in Maine

Maine Legislature Overrides Governor LePage’s Veto of “Narcan” Bill

On April 29, both the Maine House and Senate voted to override the Governor’s veto of L.D. 1547, “An Act to Facilitate Access to Naloxone Hydrochloride” that would allow Narcan to be sold without a prescription.

To see the official count on this override, click here.

Governor Paul LePage Signs Opioid Prescribing Reform Bill

On April 19, Governor Paul R. LePage signed into law LD 1646, “An Act To Prevent Opiate Abuse by Strengthening the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program.”

The bill, introduced by the Governor, received bipartisan support. It mandates prescriber participation in the Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP), sets limits for the strength and duration of opioid prescriptions, and requires that prescribers submit opioid prescriptions electronically beginning next year and that they undergo addiction training every two years.

Read details of the new law.

Also on April 19, Gov. LePage signed L.D. 1447, a bill to add 200 treatment beds to a state correctional facility in Windham. In addition, it creates beds specifically for female offenders and a geriatric wing to care for older offenders.


Vermont Legislature Passes Bill to Combat Opioid Abuse

The Vermont legislature wound up its current session by passing Senate Bill 243, “An Act Relating to Combating Opioid Abuse in Vermont.” The bill now goes to Governor Peter Shumlin for his signature.

Items covered in the bill include:

  • Creation of Controlled Substances and Pain Management Advisory Council
  • Community grant program to support local opioid prevention strategies
  • Program for disposal of unused prescription drugs
  • Establishment of regional system of opioid addiction treatment
  • Appropriations to fund elements of the legislation

To read the details of the law, here is the link to the Journal of the Senate, pages 1774-1789.


Connecticut State Senate Passes Compehensive Opioid Bill

On May 3, the CT state Senate passed a bill – said to be modeled on Massachusetts legislation passed in March – that would put a seven-day cap on initial opioid prescriptions. The bill would also increase access to naloxone and strengthen the state’s electronic prescription monitoring system. On April 27, the CT House of Representatives passed the bill.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has indicated he will sign the bill within days. (The Connecticut General Assembly ended its current session on May 4.)

Read coverage of the legislation as reported in the Hartford Courant.

Read the full text of the bill.


Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health collects overdose death data to track the progression of the opioid crisis and target services to especially hard-hit communities. In the May 2016 update, you can find a comprehensive breakdown of opioid-overdose related deaths mapped by county and city/town. In Berkshire county, for instance, there were 30 deaths in 2015 and 28 in 2014.

See the EOHHS statistics for May 2016.


KHN Health News Says “Opioid Epidemic Fueling Hospitalizations, Hospital Costs”

A new study sheds light on another repercussion [of the opioid epidemic] – how this public health problem is adding to the nation’s health care costs and who’s shouldering that burden. Published on May 2 in the journal Health Affairs, the study measures how many people were hospitalized between 2002 and 2012 because they were abusing heroin or prescription painkillers, and how many of them got serious infections related to their drug use. It also tracks what hospitals charged to treat those patients and how the hospitals were paid.

Among the findings: Hospitalizations related to use and dependence on opioids have skyrocketed, from about 302,000 in 2002 to about 520,000 a decade later.

Read the details of the study here.

And on the Local Level, Here’s What a Rural County in MA is doing….

The Communities that Care Coalition (CTC) works to address substance abuse among teenagers in Massachusetts’s predominately rural areas of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region.

Intervention: A community-based prevention initiative was formed to reduce youth violence, delinquency, and alcohol and tobacco use.
Results: CTC has seen significant reductions in substance abuse among local youth in the 30 rural towns they serve.
Read more about CTC.


The RoundTable Opioid Briefs is compiled and edited by Dot Bergin. If you have information to share, please send your news to her: email: nerhrt@gmail.com

Content Curated By:

The New England Rural Health RoundTable

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