Prescription Drug Monitory Programs Prevent Drug Abuse
Currently 37 states use a prescription drug monitory program (PDMP), which is a statewide database that collects data on dispensed substances. It’s primary purpose is to prevent drug abuse by letting doctors who use the system know when other doctors prescribe painkillers or other addictive medicines to patients. This makes it much harder for patients to go from doctor to doctor to get their fix of drugs. Although these systems are available in a majority of the United States, there is little knowledge available on what is done with them. We do not know exactly how many doctors are using them or what they are using them for. But a recent survey from Oregon gives us a little insight on this matter.
Authors of the survey used a database of over 22 thousand physicians and randomly sampled 650 frequent PDMP users, 650 low users and two thousand non-users. They found that the psychians who use the database frequently tended to prescribe controlled subsntances more often than non-users and were also in emergency medicine. It is a good sign that they are checking with the database before prescribing the medications. The other low frequent users only visited the database when they suspected that one of their patient’s was abusing drugs or had a mental health problem.
If all doctors begin to use PDMPs, the number of addictive medicine prescriptions could decrease.