Prescription drug abuse is a real crisis and, it’s no secret that it often crosses state lines. Some addicts doctor shop from New Jersey to Pennsylvania to New York. So, does the government have any intervention plans?
First, not everyone may be clear on the term “doctor shopping”. It means showing up at a physician’s office with complaints of pain. It also entails someone visiting several doctors to obtain pain medications. Often, the discomfort is exaggerated, but sometimes can be very real. Diagnostic testing may not show any clear reasons for the patient’s pain.
One thing is very apparent. The individual wants to be relieved of his or her agony. They may or might not go along with suggestions for conservative treatment, such as physical therapy. They often make a plea for medication.
If those who abuse prescription medications cross state lines, it may be difficult to track if they have access to an abundance of those meds. That’s where the problems can come in.
See what New York and New Jersey are doing about this issue.
New Jersey’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Drug Program
You may know that New Jersey already has a program in place regarding certain prescription medications. The New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program falls under the direction of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
What does this program do? It takes advantage of technology by collecting information on Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) that are dispensed throughout the state. Some other out-of-state pharmacies may also contribute information to this database. (As an aside, Human Growth Hormone (HGH) data is also recorded.)
The benefits of maintaining this information are monumental. Those who “doctor shop” will presumably be stopped in their tracks.
Then, there’s the issue of physicians who hand out pills indiscriminately. It will be easier to pick them out.
Although pharmacists are not required to access the database before they dispense medication, many do. They feel ethically bound to ensure the safety of patients.
New York to Join New Jersey’s Efforts to Keep Tabs on Pains Medications
In a recent news presentation, it was announced that New York will contribute information to the monitoring database. Those who receive pain meds from across the river cannot expect to doctor shop in both states.
What’s the reason for all of this? A simple one. Addiction is a major problem and requires expert intervention. The two states hope that by syncing records they can limit access to harmful drugs and ultimately, save lives.
New York will be the seventh state contributing to New Jersey’s Prescription Monitoring Program. Pennsylvania has its own monitoring program, but it is not currently linked up to New Jersey’s.
It’s no secret the abuse of certain prescription medications often leads to addiction. Sadly, many who abuse heroin turned to the drug after they couldn’t get pain pills. If you or a loved one is experiencing addictions issues, Clearbrook provides excellent treatment resources.
Contact us to start on the path to recovery. Since we are conveniently located in Northeast Pennsylvania, our clients feel comfortable visiting us from not only Pennsylvania, but also New York and New Jersey.