Democrats Ask Drug Policy Office to Do More to Combat Opioid Epidemic
Twenty Democratic senators are asking the Office of National Drug Control Policy to do more to combat the opioid epidemic, according to the Associated Press.
Five years after it was launched, Oklahoma’s Prescription Monitoring Program is now being used by three-fourths of the state’s doctors. However, an estimated 100,000 state residents are still addicted to prescription drugs, according to The Oklahoman.
The program has not reduced drug overdose deaths, which increased from 309 in 2006 to 356 in 2009, data from the state medical examiner shows.
Before the monitoring program began, doctors only had to report Schedule II controlled substances, such as oxycodone and morphine. In July 2006, the program started requiring doctors to also report Schedules II-V, which include many drugs including Xanax and Valium.
To further increase the program’s effectiveness, starting in January doctors will be asked to report prescriptions as they write them, instead of within a 24-hour period, the article notes.