March 2016 - Massachusetts Law Addressing the Opioid Epidemic
On March 14, 2016 Governor Charlie Baker signed landmark legislation into law to address the deadly opioid epidemic plaguing the Commonwealth. The bill is titled An Act relative to substance use, treatment, education and prevention. This new law includes multiple provisions including a 7-day limit on every opiate prescription for minors (with certain exceptions), a mandate for a verbal screen for substance use disorders in students and a requirement that information on opiate-use and misuse be disseminated to all students participating in an extracurricular athletic activity prior to their athletic season. This information can be found at our sports concussion website (www.mass.gov/sportsconcussion) at http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/community-health/dvip/injury-prevention/substance-use-disorder.html. Here you will find information on substance use and misuse, where to get help for your child, resources and a link to the Dept. of Public Health Bureau of Substance Abuse Services. Please make sure prior to every sports season that this educational information is distributed to all student athletes and their parents participating in extracurricular sports. Also, trainings for school health personnel in screening for substance use are currently underway and your school health personnel are encouraged to attend one of these free programs provided by the Department of Public Health. Please see the schedule posted on www.neushi.org for more information related to these programs.
Thank you for continuing to ensure the safety and health of the Commonwealth’s students.
Recent Massachusetts legislation requires that parents, guardians and students in 6th-12th grade receive educational materials on the dangers of opioid use and misuse. The educational information in written form must be distributed to students involved in an extracurricular athletic activity prior to the beginning of their athletic seasons.
The Massachusetts Department of Health with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and Massachusetts Technical Assistance Partnership for Prevention (MassTAPP) have developed a set of four fact sheets for the extracurricular school sports community on prescription opioid misuse prevention entitled: