January 9, 2017
ITEM FILE PHOTO
Peabody City Hall.
By LEAH DEARBORN
PEABODY — State Rep. Thomas Walsh (D-Peabody) plans to introduce legislation that will create a statewide registry of overdose responses.
“Nothing exists like this now,” said Walsh. “Let’s say, for instance, an overdose occurred in Peabody one night and the same person overdosed in another town a few days later. Emergency services conducting follow-up business would know who they have responded to.”
Walsh said no interconnected, statewide registry of overdose records exists right now and that while some towns and cities have established their own individual databases, they are separate from each other.
Walsh said the registry is an initiative he has been working on with city fire personnel.
The legislation will be filed in the coming weeks before being assigned to a committee, said Walsh. From there it must successfully move through the House of Representatives and the Senate before it can be implemented as a statewide service.
Twenty-six unintentional overdose deaths occurred in Peabody between 2012 and 2015, according to statistics from the state Department of Health.
The most recent department data confirms 2,644 opioid-related deaths across the state between January 2015 and September 2016. Another 637 deaths are estimated to be opioid-related.
State government has signed several recent pieces of legislation into law to combat the opioid epidemic, including a bill approved last March that limits opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply for first-time adult prescriptions.
The bill, which Walsh reflected as one of the first signed after he took office last spring, also places a seven-day limit on opiate prescriptions for minors.
Leah Dearborn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.