Opioid prescriptions decline amid nationwide crisis


2017 saw a significant decline in painkiller prescriptions. 

It’s estimated that three of every four new heroin users started with prescription painkillers, and the number of painkillers prescribed in 2017 dropped by a little more than ten percent. 

A new study credits part of the decline in opioid prescriptions to changes in regulations and laws, as states struggle to get the opioid epidemic under control. 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday that Massachusetts would receive more than $11.7-million in funding to combat the epidemic. 

Jonathan LaLonde of Northampton said, “The crisis is everywhere, and it’s hit almost every family that’s out there.” 

In March of 2016, Massachusetts imposed new restrictions on prescribing opioids in an effort to help curb the epidemic. Under the new law, doctors can only prescribe a seven-day supply to patients using opioids for the first time. 

Mercy Medical Center is hosting The Caritas Gala this weekend to help raise money for opioid addiction prevention effort, at the Mercy Behavioral Health Center.

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