Public hearing planned for Gov. Baker’s opioid abuse bill

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker’s opioid abuse bill takes center stage at a public hearing on Beacon Hill this week.

Baker’s bill would restrict patients to a three-day supply of painkillers the first time they’re prescribed an opioid drug, or when they receive a prescription from a new doctor. Patients could seek refills after the three-day period and exceptions would be made for certain chronic conditions.

Baker’s proposal would also let doctors commit a person involuntarily to a drug treatment facility for up to 72 hours if they’re considered an immediate danger to themselves or others.

Baker said tougher measures are needed to stem the state’s frightening rise in opioid-related overdose deaths.

The Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse will hold a hearing on the bill Monday at the Statehouse.

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