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States Fighting the Prescription Drug Epidemic with New Laws & Technology

The problem with the abuse of prescription drugs in the United States has become so severe many are calling it an epidemic. Because it is possible to legally purchase prescription drugs, they are easier for users to obtain and abuse. Many prescription drug addicts have learned how to play the medical system to get their drugs.

Doctor Shopping

A common way addicts obtain prescription drugs is through “doctor-shopping.” Doctor-shopping refers to when an individual obtains a controlled substance from multiple doctors without informing the doctors of their other prescriptions. For example, an individual may visit multiple doctors claiming to have back pain in order to get prescriptions for painkillers. None of the doctors involved would be aware the individual was receiving multiple prescriptions and abusing the drug.

The States Fight Back

Several states are finding ways to combat the “prescription drug epidemic.” Every state except Kansas has enforced some sort of law against doctor-shopping, mostly based off of the Narcotic Drug Act of 1932 or the Uniform Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Texas is taking a new approach to the situation by using preventative measures. Texas is now tracking certain controlled substances through a database, which works to identify and prevent doctor-shopping. The information from the database may be released to the public in the future, but at this time it is only available for use by the Texas Public Welfare officials.

Can the Fight be Won?

Hopefully, the states’ battle against the prescription drug problem in America will be successful. Further regulations over patients and doctors will probably be necessary in the future to really take control of this epidemic. What do you think about this course of action? (Photo via)

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