AG Healey Announces New Front in Opioid Abuse Fight

Healey is joining with federal and state agencies on Wednesday to detail new efforts to crack down on the illegal prescribing and dispensing of opioids in Massachusetts

State and federal law enforcement agencies are pledging to work together to crack down on doctors and other health care providers who illegally prescribe or dispense opioid painkillers.

Attorney General Maura Healey said Wednesday her office has formed a task force with the FBI, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to share information and collaborate on investigations.

Healey says the overprescribing of opioids is contributing to the spike in overdoses and deaths in Massachusetts.

The Democrat says the number of opioid prescriptions in Massachusetts has increased by 140 percent since the mid-1990s, with 4.6 million prescriptions in 2015.

Deaths from opioid-related overdoses more than doubled in Massachusetts between 2011 and 2014, with more than 1,250 deaths attributed to overdoses in 2014.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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