More Americans than ever are addicted to prescription drugs, with prescription drug overdose deaths at an all-time high, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The federal government has responded by pushing states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania, to require doctors to log in to a national database that tracks painkiller prescriptions.
The official drug czar for the White House said that the Obama Administration sent letters to state governors, asking the state leaders to take the measure so that drug addicts would have a harder time engaging in “doctor shopping,” the practice of going from physician to physician in order to obtain as many prescriptions as possible.
Government health officials believe that requiring doctors to log in to the pill-tracking database would cut down on doctor shopping. Officials cite data from Brandeis University that shows the need for such mandates: doctors in states that do not impose such requirements only log in 14 percent of the time. However, in states that do direct physicians to use the prescription painkiller database, overdose deaths are as much as 25 percent lower than the national average.
One organization that has lent its support to the proposed guidelines is Shatterproof, a national non-profit group that is dedicated to protecting children from drug addiction and alcohol addiction. Shatterproof is headed by Gary Mendell, who has launched a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign in support of federal and state laws that would make it tougher for doctors to prescribe opioids. Mendell turned his attention to the problem of prescription drug addiction after his son, who was addicted to painkillers, committed suicide.
For additional information, go to the ABCNews.com article, “Federal Officials, Advocates Push Pill-Tracking Databases.”
If you or a loved one has been arrested for illegal prescription drug possession, marijuana possession or any other drug crime in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, you should speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. The experienced criminal defense attorneys at Garber Law will help you contest the criminal charges and avoid the most severe penalties. Contact us now to schedule a free consultation.