Public health experts usually agree that preventive efforts should be used as a front-line defense against health problems. In the case of drug and alcohol addiction, Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs are useful preventive tools that states can use to reduce the diversion of pharmaceuticals into the hands of addicts.
When we work to address the current drug addiction epidemic that has swept our country, we must accept a universal truth. The truth is that the mass introduction of opioid pharmaceuticals (and other addictive pharmaceuticals, for that matter) onto the drug scene has changed how drugs are accessed and misused. In fact, the heavy proliferation of addictive medicines which began in the late 1990s served to alter the face of the addiction scene forever.
It’s no longer a news story that our nation is struggling with an opioid addiction epidemic. It’s been going on for some time. This is an epidemic that started out with opioid pain relievers, and even though other opioid addictions have cropped up since then, a decent piece of the pie chart that is the American opioid addiction crisis is still comprised of pain reliever addiction.
In every state but Missouri, there’s a statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a program intended to curb abuse of prescription drugs. Missouri counties and cities are setting up their own programs.