Prescription Monitoring Program Data in Massachusetts

Find data on prescription drugs in Massachusetts. This dataset provides information from the Prescription Monitoring Program - part of the Massachusetts Drug Control Program. The Program serves as a data warehouse for federal and state specific controlled substances medications dispensed.

About this Dashboard

This dashboard shares selected data from the Prescription Monitoring Program collected from pharmacies in Massachusetts. It includes these categories of controlled substances prescription medications: Opioid Agonists, Benzodiazepines, Stimulants, Opioid Partial Agonists. Data are available for calendar years 2015 to present and is stratified by county. It does not report race and Hispanic ethnicity, age group, or gender.

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Image that shows the various forms of oppression that impact the various types of social determinants of health, that then impact health outcomes.

As you look at data on this webpage, you may see differences among population groups. The differences are especially noticeable between white people and people of color.

These differences exist because of structural racism. These differences are NOT because of an individual’s choices, behaviors, or identity.

Systems of oppression, such as racism, cause harm to everyone. They also influence the social determinants of health (SDoH), which impact health outcomes. See Figure 1.

It is important to keep these notes in mind when looking at the data and using it to inform public health efforts.

If you decide to share these data, remember to use racial equity context and framing. The DPH Racial Equity Data Road Map is one resource that can help.

About Prescription Drug Monitoring in Massachusetts

The Prescription Monitoring Program is a part of the Massachusetts Drug Control Program database and includes data for all federal (and specified state) prescriptions dispensed in the state and to residents from out of state mail order pharmacies. Examining data from the Prescription Monitoring Program allows for the evaluation of trends to measure if initiatives are effective or may need to be modified. 

This dataset includes information for the following categories of controlled substances prescription medications: 

  • Opioid Agonists - Prescription opioids, (to be referred to as ‘Opioids’), are medications used to treat moderate to severe pain in some patients. They contain natural, synthetic, or semi-synthetic chemicals that interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain to reduce the intensity of pain signals and feelings of pain. The Program receives dispensation data on commonly prescribed opioids such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone.   
  • Benzodiazepines - Sometimes called “benzos,” are sedatives often used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and other conditions. The Program receives data on all commonly prescribed benzodiazepines such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium), and clonazepam (Klonopin).
  • Stimulants - Stimulants are responsible for improving physiological or neurological function. Prescription stimulants are drugs used to treat conditions such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or depression. The Program receives data on all commonly prescribed stimulants such as Amphetamines, Dextroamphetamines and Methylphenidates.   
  • Opioid Partial Agonists - Medications typically prescribed for opioid use disorder combined with the use of medications (methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone) with counseling and behavioral therapies. The Program receives dispensation data on all partial agonists but does not on partial agonists dispensed as part of Opioid Treatment Programs or Clinics. 

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Additional Resources

Contact   for Prescription Monitoring Program Data in Massachusetts

Online

Population Health Information Tool Information Email Population Health Information Tool (PHIT) at DPH.PHIT@mass.gov

Address

250 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108

As a publicly available tool, we highly encourage the use of data included in PHIT. Below is an example of how you can cite this webpage to reference any information you find helpful.

[Insert Title of Webpage Here] (n.d.). Population Health Information Tool, Massachusetts Department of Public Health. [Insert URL]

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