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Letter to the Editor: Joining the fight to end prescription drug addiction

  

Every state but Missouri is monitoring prescription drug use, isn’t it time we join the fight against prescription drug addictions? I would like to support the HB 707, which would establish the Narcotics Control Act. It is currently referred to the House Health and Mental Health Policy Committee. This bill states information will be kept confidential and can not prevent the individual from owning a firearm. However, if patient or provider are believed to be in breach of the law or professional standards, appropriate parties may be contacted including law enforcement and licensing boards. It will also not keep records for longer than three years. We must act to combat this epidemic of prescription drug use. 

The CDC considers prescription drug monitoring programs the most promising interventions states can have to help protect at-risk patients. To be beneficial these programs must be universal, timely, easy to use and access, and actively managed. According to the Missouri Hospital Association, the leading cause of accidental deaths in Missouri are drug overdoses, they are even beating deaths related to motor vehicle accidents in some Missouri counties. These deaths are preventable if we can better monitor prescription drugs and decrease accessibility to the drugs related to overprescribing. 

Samantha Irwin, BSN, RN