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Legislative leaders not sold on Baker’s opioid abuse bill

October 20, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — Top legislative leaders say they’re not sold yet on Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposal to 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.

Senate President Stan Rosenberg told reporters Monday he would give “a big yellow light” to the proposal saying there needs to be balance between protecting lives and civil rights.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo also said there needs to be sufficient oversight by the courts.

DeLeo expressed concerns about another part of Baker’s bill that would restrict patients to a three-day supply of painkillers the first time they are prescribed an opioid drug. Patients could seek additional refills.

DeLeo said any bill must address the needs of patients with chronic pain.