Maryland officials target prescription drug crimes and abuse
When most think about a drug crime, they think of a case involving marijuana, cocaine or another illegal substance. Today, however, there is a growing trend regarding drug abuse. According to The Baltimore Sun, more and more people are abusing prescription drugs – and abusing the system that lets them get their hands on such drugs.
Sources report that Maryland legislation could soon be passed that would create a monitoring system. The system would prevent prescription drug abuse among residents as well as prevent the illegal selling of the drugs that the current prescription drug system reportedly makes possible.
If Maryland were to put a prescription drug monitoring program to work, it would be joining the majority of states in the U.S. that have already done so.
Such systems prevent prescription drug abuse and drug crimes by making doctors log into the program and document that a patient has already been prescribed a certain medication. When a patient goes “doctor shopping” and tries to get another prescription for the same drug from a different doctor, then he or she won’t be so easily able to buy painkillers or other dangerous drugs in large quantities.
The Baltimore Sun reports that in Maryland, there has been a significant increase in the amount of overdoses and deaths caused by one prescription drug in particular, oxycodone. Measures to put this monitoring system into place, therefore, are being marketed as means of improving public safety.
Of course, the monitoring program would also make it easier for officials to identify doctors and patients who are acting unethically. The introduction of the system into Maryland would undoubtedly change the landscape of drug crimes and drug abuse in the state.
The Baltimore Sun: “Maryland seeks to tackle prescription drug problem,” Meredith Cohn, 2 Apr. 2011