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What Are Drug-Monitoring Programs?

What Are Drug-Monitoring Programs?Drug-monitoring programs are tools developed to promote public health and welfare by addressing drug diversion, abuse, and misuse of prescriptions drugs deemed by the Controlled Substances Act. More specifically, drug-monitoring programs are web-based or database tools that collect, analyze and report data on the prescribing, dispensing, and use of prescription drugs in the state. These databases are used by licensed prescribers, dispensers, law enforcement personnel, and regulatory boards. Drug monitoring programs are rapid and efficient and allow information to be shared across geographic stretches, which minimizes potential for “doctor shopping” and other drug diversion activity. Drug-monitoring programs perform a variety of functions such as the following:

  • Identifying, deterring, and preventing drug abuse and drug diversion
  • Facilitating and improving drug intervention, treatment, and awareness efforts
  • Educating public health initiatives of abuse trends and ongoing illegal drug practices
  • Educating the public about proper drug use activity and consequences of drug diversion and drug abuse activities
  • Reducing the supply of prescription drugs and deterring break-ins and theft

How Drug-Monitoring Programs Benefit Addiction Treatment and Recovery

Prescription drug abuse refers to the intentional use of a medication without a prescription; or in a way other than prescribed; or for the experience or feeling its side effects cause. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reported on the prescription drug abuse epidemic in the United States, stating that approximately 7 million Americans were currently abusing psychotherapeutic drugs. There are many reasons why prescription drug abuse remains a prominent problem in society including misperceptions about the safety of prescription drugs, increased motivations or “reasons” to self-medicate, and the increasing environmental availability. Drug-monitoring programs can be used to combat these factors that promote prescription drug abuse. These monitoring programs can also improve addiction treatment and recovery opportunities.

Drug-monitoring programs have the potential to identify problematic drug use or trends which can alert doctors, pharmacists, or law enforcement personnel that an individual may be struggling with drug dependency or addiction. Very seldom will an individual recognize their drug dependence or addiction or voluntarily enter treatment. With the data collected in a drug-monitoring program, professionals have a better chance of identifying the symptoms of drug dependence and addiction and a greater opportunity to guide individuals to treatment and recovery.

Looking for Drug Abuse or Addiction Help?

Are you looking for drug abuse or addiction help? If so, you can call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline to speak with a trained addiction counselor who will assist you. Addiction counselors are happy to answer your questions and provide you with helpful guidance and information about anything related to drug abuse and addiction. If you are ready, we can even connect you with the treatment or recovery services that will work for you or a loved one. To learn more about how we can help, call and talk with a counselor today.

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