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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Prescription Drug Education for Doctors

It is clearly evident that there has been a huge lack of understanding regarding physicians and how they prescribe prescription narcotics. The prescription drug epidemic has grown out of control, there are a number of organizations fighting the problem but there has been little progress in the grand scheme of things. Much of the problem stems from doctors not being aware of how addictive prescription opiates can be, as well as how much a patient’s history can dictate what they can and cannot be prescribed to dispense for themselves.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the sale of prescription pain drugs has increased by 300% since 1999 and the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration) reports that nearly 1 in 6 non-medical users of prescription pain killers got the drugs through a prescription from a doctor.

"Prescription drug diversion and the health consequences of prescription drug misuse and abuse should be of primary concern to all physicians," states American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) Acting President, Stuart Gitlow, MD. "Tens of thousands of Americans are overdosing on prescription pain medication and many of these prescriptions are coming from doctors' offices."

There are no requirements that prescribers need to have to prove they are qualified to prescribe scheduled narcotics like prescription opiates and sedatives. This is why ASAM is calling for mandatory prescriber education for all classes, all schedules of controlled substances. The more informed doctors are regarding this ever growing problem, the better they will be in making sound choices for whom they write prescriptions.

Bradenton Herald

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