There’s no secret that there is an addiction crisis and Pennsylvania is no stranger to it. In order to cut down on multiple opioid prescriptions, the state has set up a tracking system. Hopefully, it will prevent “doctor shopping.”
We discussed “doctor shopping” in a previous article. It’s the concept of visiting multiple physicians to obtain drugs. Sometimes individuals are legitimately in pain and requesting medication to relieve them from their misery. Sometimes, they are not.
Of course, the problem arises when multiple medical providers are writing opioid prescriptions. Some of the most common known opioids ordered for pain relief are hydrocodone, marketed as Vicodin. The other is oxycodone, sold as OxyContin and Percocet.
According to the United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Pennsylvania joins a number of other states that already track opioid medications.
The Basics of Pennsylvania’s New Opioid Prescription Tracking System
Tracking opioid prescriptions is new to Pennsylvania. According to a recent news article, the Pennsylvania Medical Society actually lobbied for a monitoring system.
Pennsylvania is actually one of the last states to set up a system to combat doctor shopping. It’s a means of protecting individuals from succumbing to addiction. Of course, it also helps combat those who intend to use their prescriptions to sell to others.
The new monitoring program will require some work from doctors who write opioid prescriptions, including the following:
- Take at least two courses annually regarding the prescription of medicines used to treat pain
- Regularly update a patient’s history whenever an opioid medication is prescribed
- Enter the opioid prescription(s) in a database
- Understand the medical and ethical guidelines concerning the prescription of opioids
- Follow the appropriate procedures when prescribing pain medications
- Be alert to the potential for addiction among patients
- Information from the database will be available to physicians, pharmacies, and investigators
Although it might appear that this is extra work for doctors, it is intended to save patients. Clearly, some need help from themselves. At Clearbrook, we have witnessed many individuals who have experienced the need for more and more medication.
Addiction is a disease. But, it is one that can be worked on. The creation of this database may help with making referrals for recovery.
If you or a loved one is addicted to opioid prescriptions but is ready to begin recovery, Clearbrook has the tools to get you started. Contact us to see how our experienced counselors can help. We look forward to hearing from you!