Across the country, different states are trying to implement state-wide systems that monitor the prescriptions for drugs of addiction including hydrocodone, oxycodone, alprazolam, amphetamines and others. The hope is to prevent multiple prescriptions for opiates and amphetamines that are fraudulent that could result in drug overdose and prescription drug addiction. How do they work? Are they effective? Can they pinpoint prescription drug addiction and help addicts get treatment?

How Prescription Drug Monitoring Systems Work

In states where monitoring is in effect, there is a confidential state-wide database and an agency that runs it. When a doctor prescribes a drug, the pharmacy filling the prescription electronically submits that information to the database. The information submitted will vary from state to state but may include the name of the prescribing doctor, the date and quantity of the prescription, the doctor’s DEA number, the pharmacy’s ID number, the patient’s name and ID number (social security number or driver’s license), the National Drug Code for the prescribed drug, which gives information about the strength of the drug.

Two Types of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs

Proactive prescription drug monitoring and reactive prescription drug monitoring programs are the two types of programs. Proactive programs are designed to generate reports about people with suspicious prescription drug activity in a given period. These reports can alert doctors and law enforcement to those who may be getting controlled substances for illegal use or abuse.

Reactive prescription monitoring programs do not spontaneously generate reports unless someone asks but they do gather the same information. Law enforcement, doctors, and pharmacies can request a report on anyone they work with if they believe that the patient is fraudulently getting prescriptions for controlled substances.

Do Prescription Monitoring Systems Work?

When used properly, prescription monitoring systems can be effective. Like anything, however, it is only as effective as the people who use it. Some pharmacies may or may not report every prescription, intentionally or unintentionally. If a patient uses a fake name or identifying information to procure fraudulent prescriptions, the system obviously won’t be able to do its job. And there’s always the issue of crossing state lines or order prescription drugs online – there is no system in place to monitor these activities.

Perhaps most significantly, if the state uses a reactive prescription drug monitoring system, it will only work if someone suspects fraudulent use of prescriptions and orders a report for a specific person. For these systems, there is no preventative measures in place to alert doctors or pharmacies.

Prescription Drug Addiction Treatment at The Canyon

If you or someone you love is procuring double prescriptions for the same drug, buying prescription pills illegally or getting multiple fraudulent prescriptions from different doctors, prescription drug addiction is an issue. It’s important that you get help at a medical addiction treatment center. Note: do not attempt to stop taking your prescription on your own without medical supervision. Contact Michael’s House and consult with a counselor about the best way to treat your prescription drug addiction through prescription drug detox and addiction treatment. Call now.