State Lawmakers Reach Deal on Drug Abuse Bill

State House - 2BOSTON (AP) — House and Senate negotiators have reached an agreement on a final version of a bill designed to address the state’s deadly opioid addiction crisis.

The bill would limit initial opiate painkiller prescriptions to a seven-day supply and set an evaluation requirement within 24 hours for overdose victims seeking help at hospital emergency rooms.

It would also allow patients to fill only part of their painkiller prescriptions at a time.

The bill differs from Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal that would have let doctors commit patients involuntarily to drug treatment facilities for up to 72 hours if they’re considered an immediate danger.

The bill is meant to help stem the tide of opioid overdoses and deaths in Massachusetts.

The House is expected to debate the bill as soon as Wednesday.

The Senate could take up the bill Thursday.

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