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Abusing prescription drugs.

Prescription drugs account for almost one-third of all drug abuse in the United States. Treatment admission rates have more than doubled in the past 10 years. State prescription drug monitoring programs, typically created by the legislature, require pharmacies to log each prescription they fill. The reports created by the logs are stored in a state electronic database that includes the patient's name, address, type and amount of drug, prescribing physician's name and other pertinent information.

Information contained in the database can help authorized agencies determine patterns of abuse, identify outmoded prescribing practices and can help states in their efforts to combat abuse and addiction. Medical professionals can use the information to prevent abusers from obtaining multiple prescriptions and to get patients the help they need.

Since 2002, Congress has appropriated funds to the U.S. Department of Justice to support the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. State governments are eligible for grant funds if they have in place or have pending an enabling statute or regulation that requires the submission of prescription data to a centralized database administered by an authorized state agency.

HOW WIDESPREAD IS IT?

* One in five teens report having used a prescription painkiller without a doctor's prescription.

* In 2005, 6.4 million Americans, without a medical need, used prescription drugs: 4.7 million used pain relievers, 1.8 million used tranquilizers, 1.1 million used stimulants, 272,000 used sedatives.

MONITORING PRESCRIPTION DRUG USE

State programs require pharmacies to log each prescription they fill.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]
SOURCE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS

Where people who used pain relievers nonmedically in the
past 12 months got the drugs.

Drug dealer or other stranger 4.3%
From one doctor 16.8%
Other 18.5%
Friend or relative for free 59.8%
Through the Internet 0.8%

Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Note: Table made from pie chart.
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Title Annotation:STATESTATS
Publication:State Legislatures
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2007
Words:317
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