PDT Staff Writer
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has offered two amendments to legislation that will aid in the fight against prescription drug abuse.
Portman was able to add the amendments to the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act.
The first amendment calls for the creation of a system that would allow states to share information from existing prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).
According to released information, 48 states have prescription drug monitoring programs, although, there is not a national program that links them together.
“Now that 48 states have authorized PDMPs, it is high time we get these systems linked up to eliminate the interstate doctor shopping which has been fueling the pill pipeline around our country,” Portman said.
Portman mentioned Scioto County in the press release as an example of a community that has come together to work on the issue of prescription drug abuse.
“Scioto County, Ohio, which the federal government has designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), has seen a 17 percent decrease in accidental overdoses and a 42 percent decrease in drug-related deaths from 2010 to 2011. This is a reversal from a decade-long increase in the level of drug overdoses and deaths,” Portman wrote.
Portman’s second amendment would change the Controlled Substance Act to include synthetic drugs.
“Synthetic drugs, which are chemically produced in laboratories and cause unpredictable side effects in humans, have dramatically increased in usage over the last three years. Adding these drugs to the Controlled Substance Act is the first step in making these drugs illegal and cracking down on those involved in synthetic drug production and distribution,” Portman said. “There’s still a long road ahead in the fight against prescription drug abuse and drug abuse in general, but working together we can help protect our families and communities and make Ohio a better and healthier place to live.”
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.