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Governor Charlie Baker signed a bill into law that would place new restrictions on painkiller prescriptions and create policies aimed at increasing addiction awareness. The bill, which the Senate approved Thursday with a 94-1 margin, would be the first bill to emphasize prevention education instead of just treatment or incarceration, according to Senate President Stan Rosenberg. “It’s all about treatment and it’s all about education and it’s all about providing people the help they need, instead of throwing them in jail,” Rosenberg said in an interview with Boston Public Radio Monday.

According to Rosenberg, this legislation is the most comprehensive and significant bill in the country, in terms of combating opiate abuse. “It is landmark legislation,” Rosenberg said. “It is so far ahead of what virtually any other state in the country is considering that it would be hard to see this in any way as falling short.”

This bill would limit first opioid prescriptions for adults to seven days, and doctors and patients will discuss pain medical requirements to create a plan for a second prescription, if necessary. Patients will be able to ask for less than the maximum amount recommended by their physician, and the pharmacist can then fill out a prescription with fewer pills.

Originally, Governor Baker suggested a three-day mandatory observation period, following the hospitalization of patients who overdosed. A compromise from the House created a 24-hour period for consultation. “It went from three days to 24 hours, and it went from mandatory to voluntary, but with a strong focus on making sure that the emergency rooms, the hospitals, the clinics, wherever people show up, they have the capacity to really educate the individual that this is a serious problem that’s not going to go away on its own,” Rosenberg said. “After that 24 hour period, you have to be offered opportunities for coaching, and for understanding that you’ve got a serious problem, and you need some treatment, and be told the options and how you can get access… Everything that we can put on the table is a potential tool to help one person at a time.”

Stan Rosenberg is the State Senate President. To hear his full interview with Boston Public Radio, click on the audio link above.