Delaware-Governor Jack Markell today signed into law an effort designed to reduce prescription drug abuse by limiting “doctor shopping” by addicts.
“The statistics around the prevalence of illegal prescription drug abuse are troubling. The personal stories of family members who have lost loved ones to this addiction are heartbreaking,” Markell said. “Since this legislation was introduced, people have shared with me their personal experiences and their support for this effort to reduce illegal prescription drug use.”
The legislation authorizes the state’s Office of Controlled Substances to establish a database of prescription information from pharmacies in the state to be used for the prevention of prescription drug abuse.
Doctors would be able to check the database before giving prescriptions for controlled substances, to both check drug interactions and screen for possible drug abuse. Pharmacies, excluding those in healthcare facilities, would be required to report specific information to the program.
“This rise in prescription drug abuse is no surprise to the doctors and law enforcement professionals who see its effects in our communities and are here for this signing,” said Markell. “We have been focused on making sure that health care professionals have the best tools available to detect and prevent this kind of abuse before it ruins lives.”
Delaware’s new law drew the attention of the federal government. The Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, R. Gil Kerkikowske was on hand for the signing. Earlier, Markell was invited to join the Office of National Drug Control Policy for their release of some startling statistics around the rapid increase in illegal prescription drug use.
According to the ONDCP, the new report “reveals a 400 percent increase between 1998 and 2008 of substance abuse treatment admissions for those aged 12 and over reporting abuse of prescription pain relievers. The increase in the percentage of admissions abusing pain relievers spans every age, gender, race, ethnicity, education, employment level, and region. The study also shows a more than tripling of pain reliever abuse among patients who needed treatment for opioid dependence.”
Newark (Delaware) Post online
Published: Thursday, July 15, 2010 6:44 PM CDT
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