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Prescription Drug Abuse

May 03, 2016

prescription drug abusePrescription drug abuse is a growing problem in Los Angeles County and one of the leading causes of death in emergency room visits. The growing number of over-the-counter drug deaths is something that Los Angeles is becoming aware of it. There are over 36,000 deaths annually to prescription drug over dose.

These deaths have prompted the monitoring of prescription drugs to start again in Los Angeles. The doctor prescribing the medication would put a prescription into a synchronized computer system and a pharmacist would make sure it’s a legitimate doctor before filling it.

Using this system it is easier to identify those that are abusing prescriptions drugs and are at a higher risk of overdose. The system will allow them to find people who are doctor shopping, expose dirty doctors and counterfeit prescriptions.

An important first step is to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse through the education and training of parents, youth, patients, educational professionals, and health care providers. There needs to be improved education of physicians in medical school and residency on treating chronic pain and screening and managing the risks of opioid misuse and addiction.

Second, better monitoringand tracking of patient’s prescribing records of controlled substances to ensure no duplication of prescription and doctor shopping is also needed. Third, safe removal of unusedand expired prescription products from the community is imperative so that they are not misused or abused.

Finally we need to work with the doctors, patients, pharmacists and health care providers in getting treatment for those that are addicted to prescription drugs. Identifying them and getting them help will reduce the number of high risk of emergency room overdoses. Without treatment an addict could turn to using street drugs to fill their need to get high. If we don’t treat the ones that are addicted they will look for another alternative.