Ivanka Trump Discusses Opioid Epidemic With MA Governor

Ivanka Trump

It’s not your typical polite dinner conversation. While seated next to Ivanka Trump at the 2017 National Governors Association dinner on Sunday (Feb. 26), Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said they “spent most of the time talking about opioids and the opioid epidemic.”

Baker recalled his conversation with the president’s daughter on a recent appearance on CBS This Morning, and took the opportunity to talk about signing Massachusetts’ own opioid legislation in March 2016.

The law placed a seven-day limit for first-time opioid prescriptions, and a seven-day limit on all opioid prescriptions for those under age 18 (except in special cases). The legislation also focused on increasing education and prevention efforts among young people, and better training for doctors.

“[The plan] has got a lot of elements to it, but it’s basically prevention and education on the front end, better training of prescribers,” said Baker on Tuesday (Feb. 28). “Till very recently, you could practice medicine, you could be a dentist, a nurse, a physician’s assistant, and never take a course in pain management or opioid therapy. In Massachusetts, you’ve got to actually take a course and pass it now to graduate from any of those schools.”

Like many other states, Massachusetts is dealing with its own drug abuse problem. In February, figures from the state’s public health department showed that the number of opioid-related deaths in 2016 was on track to increase for the sixth year in a row.