Multiple Chronic Conditions Blog

Prescription Drug Abuse – What Are the Trends?

Friday, 23 October 2015 05:28 / by Dr Kim Kuebler

The Obama Administration on October 22, 2015 Announced Public and Private Sector Efforts to Address Prescription Drug Abuse and Heroin Use. As part of today’s event, the President will announce federal, state, local and private sector efforts aimed at addressing the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic in the US.

Commitments by more than 40 provider groups – representing doctors, dentists, advanced practice nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists and health professional educators – endorse opioid prescriber training of more than 540,000 health care providers over the next two years.

The Obama Administration’s plan is to reduce drug use and its consequences — the National Drug Control Strategy — represents a 21st century approach to drug policy. This science-based plan, guided by the latest research on substance use, contains more than 100 specific reforms to support efforts to protect American public health and safety.

The 2011 Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Plan expands upon the Obama Administration's National Drug Control Strategy and includes action in four major areas to reduce prescription drug abuse:

Education. A crucial first step in tackling the problem of prescription drug abuse is to educate parents, youth, and patients about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs, while requiring prescribers to receive education on the appropriate and safe use, and proper storage and disposal of prescription drugs.

Monitoring. Implement prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) in every state to reduce “doctor shopping” and diversion, and enhance PDMPs to make sure they can share data across states and are used by healthcare providers.

Proper Medication Disposal. Develop convenient and environmentally responsible prescription drug disposal programs to help decrease the supply of unused prescription drugs in the home.

Enforcement. Provide law enforcement with the tools necessary to eliminate improper prescribing practices and stop pill mills.

Currently:

  • 120 American’s die every day from prescription drug overdoses. This is more than car accidents
  • Sales of powerful opioid analgesics have skyrocketed – in 2012 enough prescription pain medications were written to give every American Adult a bottle of pills
  • 4 in 5 heroin users started out by misusing prescription opioids. Heroine-related deaths nearly quadrupled between 2002-2013
Dr Kim Kuebler

Dr Kim Kuebler

Dr. Kim Kuebler, DNP, APRN, ANP-BC, Founder and Director Multiple Chronic Conditions Resource Center, CEO Advanced Disease Concepts LLC, Savannah, GA. Provider, Asante Physician Partners, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Asante Three Rivers Medical Center, Grants Pass, OR