Prescription Drug Abuse Increasing Among Oregon Youth

Parents, take note of some unsettling statistics: Oregon youth (ages 12-17) rank 4th in the nation for non-medical use of pain relievers.  And for adults, Oregon is 8th in the nation.

This, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH). 

Some states – and Oregon isn’t one of them – have begun implementing Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) designed to monitor the prescription and disbursement of prescription drugs designated as controlled substances by the DEA.

Oregon Partnership will be joining others in the next session of the Legislature to get the state on board to better track prescription drug disbursement and to promote prevention as a result of this growing trend among Oregon teens. 

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17 Responses to Prescription Drug Abuse Increasing Among Oregon Youth

  1. David Gold says:

    Nice to see the government would rather track the customers that are prescribed these drugs, rather than the companies that produce these supremely addictive substances…KUDOS to our government for taking these steps. The government and the friendly DEA folks will now be able to monitor how doctors’ manage pain. Thanks for making sure we lose even more privacy……..

  2. opblog says:

    David: This prescription drug monitoring has nothing to do with invading privacy or “monitoring how doctors manage pain” and everything to do with record keeping. When not abused, prescription drugs and pain relievers help improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of Oregonians. But without sufficient and organized record keeping, it’s a lot more difficult to stop and prevent illegal activity.

  3. Joanna Freedman says:

    David brings up good points. What about tracking the companies that produce these drugs? How they market and sell their drugs impacts their use and abuse. Didn’t PurduePharma get sued for millions of dollars for misrepresenting the addictive potential of Oxycontin? —yet this blog thinks record keeping (e.g. more bureaucracy) is the answer. The problem goes far beyond “tracking” and “promoting” and “record keeping”–take the latest Heath Ledger tragedy he probably had “prescriptions” for all the anti-anxiety and pain-killers in his room and his doctors and pharmacies probably have “records”, so should the doctors or companies be held liable for his death? Why does this blog believe that prescription drugs alleviate pain, but illegal drugs don’t? Why are drug war zealots willing to fight to have these drugs monitored and regulated, but not non-pharmaceuticals? More people die from prescription drug abuse than illegal drugs–see the rising number of deaths associated with methadone (the pharmaceutical cure for heroine addiction). I don’t believe better record keeping and promotion tactics will solve this problem, just give better data.

  4. opblog says:

    Joanna: We probably agree more than we disagree. Should drug manufacturers be held to the highest possible standards and oversight? Sure. But it stands to reason that medical record keeping and the sharing of data – when applicable and not imposing on privacy rights – is necessary and helpful. And it also saves lives.

    Do we believe that the same should be applied to illegal drugs, if possible? Yes again.

  5. Joanna says:

    Wow! So does this blog believe that illegal drugs should be regulated and monitored? I am very happy to read this.
    J

  6. Terry says:

    I commend you for your desire to slow the rise of prescription drug abuse; however, more government monitoring of our lives is absolutely the wrong way to go about this.

    Stop and rethink your strategy. Seriously, what’s changed to lead to this situation. Do you even know? Was there government monitoring that was in place and is now gone. No. You are looking for easy answers and easy ways of dealing with this but in the end all we will get is more government interference in our lives not a solution.

  7. opblog says:

    Terry: A number of states have established monitoring programs and the word we get, is that they have been successful in limiting illegal activity.

    It’s not government interference.. It’s the government tracking illegal drug activity.

    And I agree – it’s no easy answer. But it’s a valuable tool.

  8. Slifman says:

    It is my understanding that the monitoring programs will benefit the patients. If the focus is on the doctor’s prescribing the medicine, it will keep people from “farming” different clinics to obtain the drugs. If doctor’s educate themselves on the dangers of over-prescribing, and are given a tool that can help monitor the use of these drugs, we can help prevent their abuse.

  9. john gandy says:

    prescription drugs are laying the ground work for future illegal drugs Today’s painkillers will be illegal soon. We once thought cocaine and heroine were safe now they are dangerous. We need less government not more! Patients not government should monitor their use.

  10. fred thompson says:

    farming? do you mean pharming? what about the kids, like my sister’s kid, who overdosed on cough medicine–the fact is we need to educate more, because regulation in this country is a hypocrisy. Doctor are not gods they do their best to help people and we should not burden them with more red tape.

  11. opblog says:

    Prescription drug monitoring has nothing to do with regulating doctors or patients and doesn’t create red tape for doctors. It’s all about keeping track of illegal activity.

  12. Mary Dogood says:

    I believe we should make it very difficult for anybody to get drugs. I feel prayer and pure living are the keys to painfree and drug free life!

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  14. Emily C. Gori says:

    What so few people realize is the vast quantities of drugs stolen prior to shipments ever reaching pharmacies. Diversion from doctors and pharmacies makes up very little of the portion of drugs on the street. Yet this is all we hear about and this is where the majority of money and “prevention” goes to. Give me a break. For some reason the news media just hounds this falsehood into normal people, creating more myths and making it even more difficult for chronic pain suffers to get help. Narcotic pain relievers are one of the safest medications out there. Less then 1% of chronic pain patients (6 months or more in pain) become addicted, and normally these people already have abuse problems/history of abuse problems. Over 100,000 people a year are hospitalized from NSAID’s, thousands die. Do you know how many deaths can be DIRECTLY linked to Oxycodone in the past three years? Less the 600, most by chronic drug abusers who buy their drugs on the street not from their doctors. One final note: Children get these medications from their parents medicine closests. More then likely the parents have a real medical need for them. How is a PMP going to actually stop this type of behavior?

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    […]Prescription Drug Abuse Increasing Among Oregon Youth « Oregon Partnership Blog[…]…

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