Senator has introduced federal legislation to mandate prescriber education, strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs, and expand access to treatment


Boston (October 15, 2015) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today applauded Massachusetts Governor Charlie’s Baker’s new legislation to address substance abuse and addiction. The Senator has pledged his support for solutions at the local, state, and federal levels and previously commended Governor Baker for launching the Opioid Working Group led by the Attorney General and the Health and Human Services Secretary.


“I commend Governor Baker for this important legislation and his ongoing commitment to address the devastating epidemic of prescription drug and heroin addiction. The Governor understands that it will take a comprehensive strategy to prevent addiction before it takes hold and provide treatment where it is needed, and today’s legislation is a critical component. It will take a massive effort at the local, state and federal effort to combat this crisis, and I will continue to fight for the resources necessary to interrupt the cycle of addiction and help heal our neighborhoods.”


Senator Markey has introduced the Safe Prescribing of Controlled Substances Act, which would require prescribers of opioid pain medications and other controlled substances to undergo mandatory training on safe prescribing practices and the identification of possible substance use disorders. Additionally, Senator Markey has called on the Veterans Administration, Department of Defense and Indian Health Services to require its providers to participate in state Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs). PDMPs are a critical front line tool to help state law enforcement and public health officials better monitor drug-dispensing practices, ultimately helping identify potential abuse and misuse.


Additionally, Senator Markey has introduced the Treatment and Recovery Investment Act to increase funding for states so they can better assist individuals with substance use disorders, including pregnant or parenting women and adolescents.


Last year, Senator Markey released a comprehensive plan to address the opioid epidemic. The plan outlines the broad range of actions – prevention, treatment and enforcement – that must work in unison to address the crisis.