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Massachusetts Officials Devise Strategies To Combat The Heroin Epidemic

The government leaders in Massachusetts are considering new ways of dealing with drug trafficking cases, while they are enhancing the treatment for drug addicts. Several laws to reinforce the response of the state in regards to substance abuse were approved in 2014 and most of them will be implemented this year.

One of the major targets is the cheaper and more easily accessed heroin that is currently hitting the streets. This is what has boosted the number of overdoses, compared to the previous year. Recently, they focused on prescription painkillers, which are the common gateway drugs to an addiction to heroin. The lawmakers, together with other state leaders are targeting the doctors that over-prescribed the opioid painkillers to people. They vow to allocate more funds to the programs that are meant for early intervention and more beds at rehabilitation centers for treatment. They also aim at supporting the police in making them better suited to arrest drug dealers.

The Attorney General, Maura Healey, vowed to support the campaign with all her might. She also pointed out that heroin addictions are splitting families apart and that many times it starts from the prescribed painkillers. The AG also aims at enhancing the authority that monitors the prescriptions for narcotics in the state. There is also a website that is to be established, which will allow the pharmacists and doctors to view the recent prescriptions of the patient. (Prescription Drug Monitoring System) that will give them the ability to allow clinicians and law enforcement to share their data from state to state.

The AG also aims to shut down the pain management clinics that are also called pill mills. These pill mills give out addictive prescription painkillers to patients who are willing to pay. Such drugs like Oxycontin, Vicodin and Roxicodone, are offered at the pill mills and they are the most common gateway drugs that lead to the abuse of heroin. The AG intends to come up with the best way of marketing, prescribing and dispensing painkillers. The over-prescribing of painkillers is the major cause of the opiate addiction epidemic, which has led to many deaths. Another pledge that the AG made is that she will tighten the prosecution of drug dealers.

Healey has also come up with an internal panel of civil enforcement lawyers, prosecutors, health care professionals, law enforcement officials, health care specialists and drug abuse prevention professionals. In addition to the professionals, the AG has also included special investigators, who will help in busting the ever nagging drug dealers.

Hopefully more states will put together task forces to help fight the ever growing opiate epidemic.


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