Anthony H. Dekker. What Is Being Done to Address the New Drug Epidemic?. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2007;107(suppl_5):ES21–ES26. doi: .
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As osteopathic physicians care for patients with complaints of pain, they commonly prescribe controlled substances. The use of these agents presents special challenges for providers, patients, and communities. The US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has provided testimony to the US Congress in regard to the growing problem of diversion and misuse of such medications. Joseph T. Rannazzisi, the deputy assistant administrator in the Office of Diversion Control, appeared before the House Government Reform Committee's Subcommittee on Criminal Justice, Drug Policy, and Human Resources on July 26, 2006.
This review summarizes the important points that Mr Rannazzisi raised in the DEA's testimony, “Prescription Drug Abuse: What Is Being Done to Address This New Drug Epidemic?” (http://www.dea.gov/pubs/cngrtest/ct072606.html). Excerpts have been edited to conform with the JAOA's house style. In addition, the author has added some details to the excerpts for clarification. One relevant addition notes the law that now requires physicians to use tamper-proof prescription pads to reduce counterfeiting and forging prescriptions, thus helping to reduce diversion of prescription drugs.
The author has also added a bar chart to illustrate abuse of two leading painkillers by teenagers and anecdotal case scenarios illustrating abuse and diversion of controlled prescription drugs.
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