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Commbatting Prescription Drug Abuse Essay

953 words - 4 pages

Prescription drug abuse has become a huge universal challenge, which has created major societal burdens. Efforts to manage this epidemic have been hindered by doctor shopping and people traveling to different states where ‘pill mills’ can still be found. Responses to this rapidly growing problem include prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs), and shutting down pill mills throughout the country. There is still a need for more research in combatting prescription drug abuse, along with all of the states being united in the actions used to fight against prescription drug abuse.
Prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) collect, monitor, and analyze prescription and dispensing ...view middle of the document...

(HHS Enlists Information Technoology to Combat Rx Drug Abuse, 2012)
In 2011, Michele M. Leonhart, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), pointed toward pain clinics, notably in Florida, as being the main supply of controlled substances for non-medical purposes. (House Subcommitte Looks at Prescription Drug Abuse Diversion, 2011) Gov. Rick Scott, who acknowledged that his state of Florida is “ground zero” for prescription drug abuse, told the House subcommittee that he intends to adopt a different solution from that of PDMPs. Scott explains that he is concerned with patient privacy and says he would like, “to find a law enforcement solution that starts at the top of the distribution chain, not the bottom.” He goes on to state that Florida will, “target the sources of these drugs before they hit the streets.” (Qtd. in House Subcommitte Looks at Prescription Drug Abuse Diversion, 2011) The Governor of Florida also expressed that there would be new laws created that do not allow physicians to dispense medication or have ownership of pharmacies.
Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky says, “Our efforts are not enough, because illicit drug users have found supplies in other states with looser regulations, and we are not equipped to stop that.” (Qtd. in House Subcommitte Looks at Prescription Drug Abuse Diversion, 2011) Kentucky is home to a PDMP called KASPER, which was designed over a decade ago and has been a national model for these programs. People who live in Kentucky can go to Florida and obtain prescription medications from pill mills there, where there are no PDMPs. Beshear stressed, “What is needed is an aggressive national response.” (Qtd. in House Subcommitte Looks at Prescription Drug Abuse Diversion, 2011) I agree.
Doctor shopping is a phrase used to define the incidence of patients obtaining multiple prescriptions from various providers. (Worley, 2012) Other methods of prescription drug diversion encompass the unlawful sales, thefts, and...

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