Friday, July 8, 2011
There is hardly a state in the Union that does not have a prescription drug problem that has gone out of control. Individual states are working hard to take measures to curb the ever growing problem; requiring more from prescribing doctors as well as pharmacies by having to report to the state who is prescribing what and where they are acquiring the drugs. Oklahoma is one such state that has had an uphill battle with prescription drug abuse which is why a prescription drug database has been created which has shown promise. It was launched five years ago and since then Oklahoma’s Prescription Monitoring Program is now being used by three-fourths of the state’s doctors. Sadly, while the program is a step in the right direction it has not been proven to have saved lives while an estimated 100,000 state residents are still addicted to prescription drugs, according to The Oklahoman.
On top of that the state medical examiner has shown that the program has not reduced drug overdose deaths, which increased from 309 in 2006 to 356 in 2009. It used to be the case that doctors only had to report Schedule II controlled substances, such as oxycodone and morphine. The program, which began in July 2006, started requiring doctors to also report Schedules II-V, which includes drugs like Xanax and Valium.
Starting in January doctors will be asked to report prescriptions as they write them, instead of within a 24-hour period, according to the report. More action than that will be required if Oklahoma wants to reduce prescription drug overdoses which has shown to be a growing problem despite the steps already taken. The fact of the matter is that people simply do not understand just how dangerous drugs like oxycodone can be, especially if the drug is mixed with other drugs, legal or not.