New England Governors Say They’ll Work Together On Region’s Heroin Issues

Five New England Governors met Tuesday to discuss a regional strategy for fighting the surge in heroin and opioid addiction.

The governors of Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New Hampshire announced they would share prescription data among their states to identify suspicious prescribing practices and doctor shopping for painkillers.

“Someone in the state of Connecticut who’s shopping might very easily cross the border into the Commonwealth [of Massachusetts] and very easily get a prescription,” Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy said.

Each of the five states has seen an explosion in heroin and opioid addiction.

“I had so many Vermonters coming up to me saying , ‘Why is it that I’m losing my son to this addiction? Why is it that I’m losing my daughter, my mom, my dad, my cousin, my niece, my nephew?’” said Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin.

The governors say a shortage of treatment beds is an issue. They’re exploring ways to have people who can’t get into addiction programs in their home state go to a neighboring state if there are beds available.

They plan to meet again in mid July.