Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper is encouraging broader use of the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).
The PDMP was created by the 2009 legislature in an initiative to encourage safer prescribing of controlled substances and to reduce drug abuse and diversion within the state of Florida. It created a database that will collect and store prescribing and dispensing data for controlled substances. The purpose of the PDMP is to provide the information that will be collected in the database to health care practitioners to guide their decisions in prescribing and dispensing these highly-abused prescription drugs.
Instead of visiting the usual pain management clinics we find individuals are now going to dentists, walk-in clinics, emergency rooms, urologists, psychiatrists and other providers every few days to obtain small quantities of potent drugs in an attempt to go undetected.
“Some people seeking pain medications for misuse or abuse are beginning to alter their tactics,” said Sheriff Leeper. “The PDMP can only be effective if it is checked by medical professionals prescribing or dispensing these powerful prescription drugs.”
Currently, the State of Florida requires that pharmacists enter data into the PDMP each time a controlled substance is dispensed, but neither medical providers nor pharmacies have to consult database records before writing or filling these prescriptions. The availability of the database as a patient tool at this juncture is instrumental in ensuring proper medical intervention while stopping diversion, addiction and the proliferation of potent pain pills on the street.