Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Pamela Nadash


This case study focuses on the effectiveness of the recent regulations imposed upon Massachusetts’s prescription monitoring program. Abuse and/or misuse of prescription opioids is becoming increasingly problematic within the United States and as a result many policy makers are looking for ways to combat the problem. In Massachusetts, the OxyContin and Heroin Commission was established to investigate the impact of both OxyContin and heroin on the state. The Commission delivered recommendations that eventually led the state legislature to make changes to Massachusetts’s prescription monitoring program. This study targeted five major stakeholder groups and asked a series of questions through interviews and surveys. The research question was as follows: do major stakeholders see the recent regulations imposed upon the states prescription monitoring program as being effective in helping to combat abuse and misuse of prescription opioids in Massachusetts? Findings produced two main themes: 1) stakeholders believe prescription monitoring programs are successful in combating prescription drug abuse and/or misuse and, 2) there is an overwhelmingly negative attitude towards Massachusetts program design. Recommendations include determining how widespread the feelings of negativity and general lack of knowledge are felt across the Commonwealth, to educate users on the benefits of the program and encourage routine use, and to engage the state’s licensing board.