Massachusetts lawmakers approve bill targeting opioid abuse

The Massachusetts House and Senate have given final approval to a wide-ranging effort to address the state’s deadly opioid addiction crisis.

The Senate on Thursday unanimously approved the bill that would limit initial 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 and require schools to verbally screen students for potential drug abuse.

The House on Wednesday also approved the compromise bill worked out by a House-Senate conference committee.

Both chambers gave the measure final enactment votes before sending it to the desk of Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who is expected to sign it when he returns from a vacation.

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