Prescription drug abuse has been deemed to be faster growing than the illegal drug trade. Prescription drugs are dispensed to homes where some of them are shared or stolen by teens, other relatives, visitors to the homes, or thieves. In some cases, people hop from doctor to doctor in order to get prescription drugs. Teens or adults who obtain large quantities of prescription meds sometimes share with others.
All practices of misused or misrouted drugs can bring about serious consequences for people who have not been prescribed the substance by a legal doctor. The abusive consumption may bring about deadly allergic reaction. A dangerous amount may cause overdose or if the components of the drug is combined with other substances, cardiac arrest, kidney failure and other death threatening consequences could occur.
Washington has become fired up about prescription drug abuse. All concerned agencies from the Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health Center for Disease Control, Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Drug Enforcement departments are joining forces.
The National Prescription Drug Action Plan promotes safe use of drugs by cutting out risk, providing education to the consumer and the health care providers, and stopping accidental overdose and diversion of drugs and reduces doctor shopping.
All organizations will be able to track any abuse with the information in a database.
One component includes tracking and reporting dispensed medications through prescription drug monitoring programs. Dr Koh, Assistant Director of National Health and Human Services reports that data bases will keep an account of every detail of a prescription from the maker to the health care provider who writes the order, the pharmacy who distributes the drug, the amount, and any changes or discontinuations.
A program is being implemented to retrieve unused prescriptions.
Dr. Michelle Leohart of the DEA stated that 40% of all prescription drugs go unused. This means that there is a potential for expired or discontinued addictive drugs to end up in the hands of someone else who could be harmed. It would also prevent honest health care professionals from double or over prescribing to doctor shoppers.
The collection and disposal act is implemented by the DEA. Go to http://www.dea.gov to find a collection location (national take back initiative to help keep prescription drugs out of the hands of abusers.
Resources and References
National Institutes of Health Strategic Plan
Office of National Drug Control Policy – Prescription Drug Abuse
U.S. Department of Justice – Drug Enforcement Administration Office of Diversion Control Information and Legal Sources
National Institutes of Health – Medline Plus – Prescription Drug Abuse