BOSTON (Legal Newsline) – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced her support for U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that aim to improve opioid prescribing practices.
Healey had been in Washington, D.C. meeting with federal officials about the nation’s growing opioid addiction epidemic. She sent a letter to Dr. Debra Houry, director for the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the CDC, commending the agency on drafting the guidelines. Healey believes these guidelines should provide information to primary care providers nationwide about how best to prescribe opioids.
“The opiate epidemic has had a devastating impact in Massachusetts, and in so many other parts of the country,” Healey said. “We have to change the culture around prescribing. We are 5 percent of the world’s population but we consume 80 percent of the opioid supply. It’s clear that we need to change how and why these drugs are prescribed and we must do so now before we lose an entire generation to this epidemic.”
In Massachusetts, deaths from opioid-related overdoses more than doubled between 2011 and 2014, Healey's office states. The office says that in 2014 alone, more than 1,250 people were believed to have died in the state from overdoses. The state had 4,664,391 prescriptions for Schedule II and III opioids in 2014, according to the office.