State to crack down on doctors who over-prescribe opioids

Massachusetts officials announced a new policy to help crack down on doctors who they said are fueling the opioid addiction in the state.

Attorney General Maura Healey said that heroin and opioid addiction started for many with opioid prescriptions from doctors. The prescriptions are on the rise; Healey said there has been a 140 percent increase in opioid prescriptions in the United States since the 1990s. In Massachusetts last year, Healey said 4.6 million opioid prescriptions were written out.

"We want to shut down the prescribers who are out there, who are prescribing to people who have no business receiving this," said Healey.

Healey will be forming a task force with other agencies to stop doctors from over-prescribing opioid pills. The coalition will keep track of doctors and pharmacies by logging filled prescriptions in a database. The Attorney General’s Office has already charged one doctor in western Massachusetts with overprescribing opioids.

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