My latest info is that a rally will take place at 10am at the Statehouse tomorrow (Monday). As soon as I have a location, I'll let you know.
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Honorable Chair Brian Dempsey
Honorable Vice Chair Stephen Kulik
Honorable Asst. Vice Chair Martha Walz
House Committee on Ways and Means
State House, Room 237
Boston, MA 02133
I am respectfully asking you to release S.2125 (An Act Relative to Prescription Drug Diversion, Abuse and Addiction) from the House Way & Means Committee for a floor vote before the end of legislative session on July 31.
Ten Massachusetts residents a week die from prescription drug abuse. Hundreds more overdose and require emergency care.
Alarmingly, the prescription pill epidemic is out of control, devastating wonderful families and our children.
We need a strong law that better educates parents and children about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, reduces doctor-shopping and pill theft, and provides more help to our loved ones, friends, and neighbors in need.
The time is now for strong, practical and common-sense legislation that will combat this growing epidemic.
S2125 will save lives. Please pass it now.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.
[PROVIDE YOUR NAME, ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER]
[Additional information for composing your own email]:
* Opiates kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined.
* As many teenagers are now experimenting with prescription painkillers as experiment with marijuana.
* Ten Massachusetts residents a week die from prescription drug abuse. Hundreds more overdose and require emergency care.
About S2125: This bill takes a number of important steps to address the prescription drug abuse epidemic gripping our communities. Specifically, S2125:
* Requires prescription painkillers come with an easily-understood pamphlet explaining the dangers of prescription drug abuse, where to turn for help, and how to safely store and dispose of the medications.
* Ensures that prescriptions for painkillers are written on secure, tamper-resistant prescription pads to discourage tampering.
* Requires doctors, dentists and other practitioners to simply check a new patient's drug history through an existing database once before prescribing painkillers, while providing exemptions for emergency situations.
* Forms a working group of doctors, nurses, and other health care providers to establish best practices for the prescribing of painkillers.
* Increases opportunities for pharmacists to check patient drug histories to prevent fraud.
* Ensures parents or guardians are notified when their child is treated in the emergency room for an overdose.
* Strengthens the State's Medicaid prescription drug fraud program.
* Establishes new professional substance abuse training for court personnel and attorneys.
* Provides for a pilot substance abuse education curriculum for five school districts with high prescription painkiller abuse rates.
* Provides for a Good Samaritan Policy, allowing for certain immunity to persons calling 911 during an overdose. It would also increase access to Naloxone or Narcan, a medication that can reverse a potentially fatal opioid overdose. This bill allows for expanded legal protection to prescribe, possess and administer Naloxone or Narcan to someone appearing to have an opioid overdose.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: February 7, 2012
A key piece of legislation designed to combat multiple issues related to prescription drugs and "bath salts" is working its way through the process on Beacon Hill. A consolidation of a number of free standing bills, massaged and enhanced by the Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse, the omnibus bill takes up where previous legislation left off after the report of the OxyContin and Heroin Commission several years ago.
The Committee has scheduled a public forum on the various aspects of this bill along with a discussion by doctors on new methods for detection and treatment of drug abusers, including a pilot program at the Barnstable County Correctional Facility using Vivitrol (extended release naltrexone).
An Evening of Solutions for the Problem of Prescription Drug Abuse