OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF
Sheriff Dennis L. Dotson
225 W. Olive Street
Newport, Oregon 97365
Tel (541) 265-4277
Fax (541) 265-4926
TIP OF THE WEEK
Date: February 8, 2016
PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE
The abuse of prescription drugs continues to rise in Oregon. It is also a problem nationally. Why is this occurring and how could it happen are only a few of the many questions being asked.
What is an opiate? One definition is; “An opiate is any of the narcotic alkaloids found in opium. They are named because they are constituents or derivatives of constituents found in opium which is processed from the latex sap of the opium poppy.”
The availability of prescription drugs is obtainable from anyone who is licensed by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to prescribe controlled drugs. A person need only visit a clinic and convincingly complain of pain or depression and receive a prescription of oxycodone, hydrocodone, methadone, codeine, fentanyl, meperidine, darvocet, morphine, or other opiate.
But there is even an easier way to obtain these powerful and addictive drugs than going to a clinic. A person merely needs to look in a family member’s or friend’s medicine cabinet or purse. There are also those who shop for doctors to obtain drugs and until recently, professionals licensed to prescribe drugs in Oregon were without a tool to prevent doctor shopping.
Today, physicians, dentists, and others licensed to prescribe controlled drugs have a tool that enables them to track a person’s history of obtaining prescription drugs. Oregon is one of 41 states in the country providing this service to their medical professionals and seven more states are in the process of implementing the service. But this tool is only as effective as the users allow it to be. If physicians, dentists and others do not participate in the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, it will serve little purpose in preventing people from doctor shopping for these opiates and other prescription drugs.
Ask your physician, dentist, or other health professional licensed to prescribe drugs if they are participating in Oregon’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and if they aren’t, why not? It’s free, meets all HIPPA requirements, and is strictly confidential.
In addition to this, lock up your prescription medications and prevent others from stealing, selling, and abusing your prescription drugs. Physicians can request an account here.