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Should prescription drug monitoring programs be available in all states?

On Monday the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy released figures on prescription drug abuse in New Jersey.

National studies have shown that 3% of residents have abused prescription drugs in the past year with 6% of those in the 18-25 age bracket reporting misusing prescription drugs.

Those numbers are even higher in New Jersey where recent reports show the numbers for young adults in the 18-25 category at 11% while statewide 4% of residents reported they abused prescription drugs in the past year.

The White House report also stated that admissions to drug and alcohol rehab programs for pain killers have increased 217% from 1999-2005 for New Jersey. Deputy US Drug Czar Scott Burns said, “Prescription drug abuse is a serious problem in New Jersey.” Officials partly blame the practice of “doctor shopping” where people go from doctor to doctor obtaining multiple prescriptions and have them filled at different pharmacies, a practice which is on the rise nationwide.

New Jersey is one of 16 states that still don’t have a drug-monitoring program in place that would allow doctors and pharmacies to receive up to date and accurate information about the patients drug history.

Does your state have a drug monitoring program available? Do you think this should be implemented on a federal level? Let us know what you think.

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