What Are Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs?

What Are Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs?In response to the epidemic of prescription drug abuse many states have implemented a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). PDMPs are run at a state level and are not administered by the DEA or any other federal agency. A PDMP is an electronic database of information about prescription drugs dispensed in that state. Access to the information is restricted to professionals such as doctors, drug treatment specialists, lawmakers, law enforcement officials and anyone else whose job allows access to that information. Access to the information is determined by state law and may vary from state to state.

Benefits of a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

The epidemic of prescription drug abuse has deeply impacted many aspects of society, as well as society as a whole. Prescription drugs on the black market have resulted in increased levels of crime and addiction, thereby increasing the need for law enforcement and treatment. The medical community’s ability to prescribe drugs to patients with a legitimate need has been impacted as well, as doctors now fear being held liable for overdose deaths or other problems resulting from drugs they prescribed. There is increased pressure on the health care system and the courts, as lives are being damaged or destroyed by drug addiction. A PDMP can achieve the following benefits:

  • Support the legitimate use of controlled substances
  • Provide hard data to lawmakers on the nature and severity of prescription drug abuse
  • Identify trends in prescription drug abuse
  • Help law enforcement to identify those who are diverting prescription drugs to the black market
  • Identify those in need of treatment for addiction
  • Educate individuals and the public at large about prescription drug abuse

States with a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Currently thirty-seven states have a PDMP in operation. These include the following: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.

Eleven states have enacted legislation to provide for PDMPs that are not yet in operation (as of October 26, 2011). These include the following: Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. The U.S. Territory of Guam also has plans in place for a PDMP.

For information on laws and statutes pertaining to prescription drugs in a specific state, contact the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws at www.namsdl.org.

Learn More about Preventing or Overcoming Prescription Drug Abuse

If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s prescription drug use or would like to know more about PDMPs, addiction or recovery options, call us. Our helpline is toll free, and we are here to talk 24 hours a day.