Mass. Senate takes aim at prescription drug abuse
BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Senate is set to take up a bill calling for stricter oversight of prescription drugs that are often abused when in the wrong hands.
The measure scheduled for debate on Thursday would require that all doctors who prescribe controlled substances, including legal painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin, register with the state's prescription monitoring program.
A 2009 report found that Massachusetts has one of the highest rates of narcotic abuse in the country, recording 3,265 opiate-related deaths over a five-year period.
The bill would also require all doctors to use tamper-proof prescription pads and notify the parents of any minors they treat for prescription drug overdoses.
Senate President Therese Murray says opiate abuse affects families from every socio-economic background in the state.
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