From the Arkansas Department of Health:
Little Rock -- Prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the United States, and a group of physicians, national experts, policy makers and professional people from around the state and across the nation met today and yesterday at the Peabody Hotel in Little Rock to discuss solutions to the problem. Among the new tools for emergency room doctors is a set of prescribing recommendations introduced today which could have a significant impact on the problem in Arkansas. The new recommendations help establish protocols for doctors to follow when prescribing pain medication In the Emergency Room.
"Emergency room doctors are challenged every day by the number of people who are showing up in emergency rooms seeking narcotics," said Gene Shelby, M.D., president of the Arkansas Medical Society.
According to Shelby, the new practices have been used in the state of Washington over the last two years with great success. "These guidelines help standardize the management of this group of people but they are just one component of a successful plan," Shelby said.
In 2012, the National Governors Association (NGA) announced the selection of five states, Arkansas, Kentucky, New Mexico, Oregon and Virginia, to join Alabama and Colorado in developing and implementing comprehensive and coordinated strategies that take advantage of all available tools and resources to address this growing problem.
- Making better use of prescription drug monitoring programs
- Enhancing enforcement efforts
- Ensuring proper disposal of prescription drugs
- Leveraging the state's role as regulator and purchaser of services
- Building partnerships among key stakeholders
- Promoting public education about prescription drug abuse
This project is in partnership with the National Safety Council and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, CVS Caremark Corporation, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the Healthcare Management Distribution Association, Rite Aid Corporation, the Alliance of Safe Online Pharmacies and Magellan Health Services.
To learn more about the prescription drug abuse initiative, please visit http://goo.gl/5bsSD .