The Federal Government Awarded the Patrick Administration $400,000

The federal grant will be used to expand the prescription drug program.

Patrick Administration officials announced Friday that the U.S. Department of Justice has awarded the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) a two-year, $400,000 grant to expand training for law enforcement and health care providers on the DPH’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PMP).

According to city officials, the DPH uses the program “to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of certain scheduled prescriptions drugs by Massachusetts pharmacies.” With the new federal grant, the DPH will be able to focus more on training, education, and community outreach.

“Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic that is hurting far too many families in Massachusetts. It is essential that our public safety and health agencies work together to address this crisis,” said Senator Elizabeth Warren in a statement. “The Patrick Administration has taken a number of critical steps to fight this epidemic, including through prescription monitoring. I am pleased this federal funding will support DPH’s work by strengthening training and outreach.”

According the the DPH, this is how the $400,000 will be used:

• Expand the state’s PMP training program for law enforcement, regulatory agency and prosecutorial personnel. The training program promotes greater understanding of the behavioral aspects of prescription drug abuse and how to provide referrals to substance abuse treatment programs, including development of drug diversion investigation case studies with technology assisted class participation.

•Develop web-based and other training curricula for health care providers and their delegates on how to best utilize the PMP and incorporate patient prescription records into clinical decisions.

•Enhance education and outreach initiatives to support community-wide public health and safety efforts. This includes creating provider-based “how to” videos, pamphlets, quick reference guides, as well as toolkits to help communities understand the effectiveness of their PMP-based programs.

“Prescription Monitoring is a key part of our overall response to this public health emergency,” said DPH Commissioner Cheryl Bartlett. “This new grant funding will provide expanded training and outreach to all of our partners in the use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.”