Florida’s grassroots approach to combating prescription drug abuse

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—CDC—produces a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The July 4, 2014 report detailed the plunge in Florida’s prescription drug overdose rate between 2010 and 2012. According to the report, prescription drug deaths decreased about 23 percent. Overdose deaths from oxycodone decreased more than 50 percent. The CDC attributes the..

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Controlled chaos: the science of counterfeiting prescription drugs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 10 to 30 percent of all prescription drugs sold in developing countries are counterfeit. According to Motherboard.com, manufacturing counterfeit drugs is cheap and easy, provided the counterfeiters can obtain the ingredients. Pfizer, the maker of Viagra—the most counterfeited prescription drug in the world—filed its patent for the..

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Guidelines for prescribing controlled substances for pain

In November 2014, the Medical Board of California published a guideline for physicians on how and when to prescribe prescription opioids. The 90-page document covers topics ranging from understanding different types of pain—acute, chronic, nociceptive and neuropathic—to treating different special patient populations—end-of-life, older, pregnant, pediatric, psychiatric and patients with a history of substance abuse—to compliance—specifically,..

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Doctors don’t always know best: Prescription drug abuse in healthcare

In a 2013 article published in the Journal of Addiction Medicine, Lisa Merlo, a researcher at the University of Florida’s Center for Addiction Research and Education, interviewed 55 physicians being monitored by their state physician health programs for alcohol and drug abuse. Of the 55, 38 abused prescription drugs. According to Merlo, most of the..

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