Thursday, May 26, 2011

Waking Up To Prescription Drug Abuse

Credit: Pixelbliss/shutterstock
Prescription drug abuse is attracting the attention of advocacy organizations and policymakers everywhere. Today, the Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada announced the launch of a nation-wide public awareness campaign on the non-medical use of prescription drugs by teens. The organization hopes to get the message out to parents to keep their medication in a secure location and have a talk with their kids about drug abuse. The campaign will launch in June 2011.
   And here in the U.S. the Obama administration recently brought together the heads of several government agencies to mark the release of a coordinated federal plan to deal with the nation's growing prescription drug abuse epidemic.
   Under the plan the FDA would require drug manufacturers to develop education programs for prescribers to help them identify, treat, and end dependence on prescription drugs. The plan notes that while there are a number of classes of prescription drugs that are abused, it “primarily focuses on the growing and often deadly problem of prescription opioid abuse.” At the heart of the plan is the requirement that drug manufacturers provide educational programs to those licensed to prescribe long-acting and extended-release opioids. In addition, manufacturers would be required to provide materials to assist physicians in counseling patients in the proper use and risks of these drugs.
   APA, the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP), and the American Osteopathic Academy of Addiction Medicine (AOAAM) released a joint statement applauding the plan. For more information see Psychiatric News


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