Our Blog

Senate Considering Bill for Physician Training for Opiate Prescribing

Prescription drug abuse has become a huge problem in the United States. Americans are depending more and more on prescription medication to survive, “feel better” or get high in what they think is a “safer” way. But prescription drug addiction is a frightening problem and a very unhealthy way to live. It not only impacts the person with the addiction, but it affects everyone in their life.

That’s why recently the government decided to take more of a stand to help curb prescription drug addiction and encourage opiate rehabilitation to assist Americans in leading a healthier lifestyle. In a recent bill introduced to the senate by co-writers Senator Chuck Schumer (NY) and Jay Rockefeller (WV), the bill lays out laws that would require doctors to receive training for prescribing opiate-based narcotics.

Ten years ago, people would easily be able to walk into a doctor’s office faking an injury in order to get the prescription they desired. Fast forward to the present and many people are finding it is not as easy to get the prescription they want in order to feed their addiction. Doctor’s are becoming more aware of the prescription abuse epidemic and are starting to limit the amount of medication they are dosing out to patients. But not all doctors have made changes to their practice and the amount of prescriptions they prescribe.

That is why Senator Schumer and Senator Rockefeller are hoping their new bill will also assist in curbing prescription drug addiction. The bill will require training that would cover pain management in a safe way as well as provide information on alternatives to opiate prescriptions. Currently, the Drug Enforcement Agency does not require doctors or dentists of any entity to undergo opiate training in order to dispense these types of drugs. Through the proposed training, the Senators are hoping to lessen American’s chances of having to receive opiate rehab program due to an addiction to pain medications that they ultimately do not need.  

The bill, called the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act of 2011, would also increase the punishments for those robbing pharmacies for controlled substances. This would also apply to stealing any type of medical products or machines and transporting and storing them. By making these crimes receive harsher punishments, the bill will hopefully keep addicts from going to any lengths imaginable in order to feed their prescription drug abuse. The bill calls for a penalty of up to 10 to 20 years for anyone committing a prescription drug-related crime.

Prescription drug abuse is not something to joke about and affects more people than probably anyone realizes. This is why the bill introduced would also provide $25 million in funding to states to assist in creating or upgrading their prescription drug monitoring systems. Through these monitoring systems, states are able to keep a close eye on all prescriptions filled by individuals at any various pharmacies that individual’s might be trying to fill multiple narcotic prescriptions.

Just this past April, the government made even more moves strategizing on how to help with prescription drug abuse.  The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy announced a new government strategy in order to help cut the use of prescription painkillers by 15 percent within a five year period. The plan will implement more doctor-training in prescribing narcotics, encourage prescription databases in each state and work toward removing any illegal “pill mill” clinics. Through these combined efforts, the government hopes to assist in changing American’s dependencies on prescription medication as a means to live.

In increasing more awareness and cracking down on those who break the law by taking prescriptions not meant for them, the government is hoping to get drug abusers to realize that they are not going to just get a slap on the wrist. Unfortunately, for many users and abusers of substances, telling them to get treatment for their problem is simply not enough. It sadly takes them getting in trouble with law enforcement or hurting themselves or others to have a wake-up call and see the destruction drug abuse can cause to their lives and the lives of the people around them.

An addiction to opiate medications is a difficult uphill battle to try and abstain from. This is why it is so important that Americans realize the severity of abusing prescription drug medications. If you are suffering from a prescription drug addiction, you are not alone and there is help out there through opiate rehabilitation. At Vista Taos Renewal Center, they take the time to work with you and help you recover from drug dependency and relieve the desire to use and abuse medications. For more information on how to live a healthy drug-free lifestyle, visit Vista Taos today and turn your future around for the better.

Share this post