Drug Monitoring Program Paper


 While the war on drugs has seemingly gotten better, there is a certain type of drug that is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of and control.  Most people would have never thought that pharmaceutical drugs would be the cause of more deaths in the state of Florida than heroin and cocaine related deaths combined in 2007. Nearly 550 of those death happened in the Tampa Bay area, leading this to becoming one of the biggest drug abuse crisis in quite some time.  

A drug monitoring program would be such a program that keeps track of the dispensing of pharmaceuticals, mainly controlled substances, that would potentially disable distribution of street drugs, put a halt to “doctor shopping”, put doctors that write fake scripts under the radar, hopefully reduce the amount of people that become dependent upon narcotics and diminish the number of people of overdosing on these lethal prescription drugs.

         A study was conducted by an independent contractor to assess the proficiency of drug monitoring programs. The research showed that in states where a drug program was in place the supply of illegally obtained pharmaceuticals and the likelihood of abuse was significantly reduced. The study also showed that if law enforcement, rather than health oriented officials, were the ones to monitor the information there was a greater chance of success in reducing pharmaceutical abuse.

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Florida is currently one of the only states that does not have a drug monitoring program in place.  For years, lawmakers in Florida have turned down such programs saying cost and privacy as their main concerns.  Even the federal government has offered the state money, many states have already bought in; however, Florida has not.  Some lawmakers state “programs are too expensive” and worry about “placing private patient information in the hands of the government” (Tisch, & VanSickle, 2008).  Thirty four other states, however, do have programs in place.  Surrounding states such as: Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, ...

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