State Senate approves substance abuse bill

A bill that would ramp up state efforts to control a growing drug dependency problem won unanimous approval Tuesday in the state Senate. The measure would toughen the state’s prescription drug monitoring program and require pharmacists to dispense an interchangeable abuse deterrent drug unless a physician has indicated that a substitution should not be made. It would also mandate that insurers reimburse for substance abuse treatment services delivered by licensed drug and alcohol counselors. Senate President Therese Murray said she hoped the House would take up the measure, which passed the Senate by a 40-to-0 vote.