Call to Action and Issue Brief: Justice System Use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, Overview and Recommendations for Addressing the Nation's Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Epidemic   [open pdf - 758KB]

"Prescription drug misuse, abuse, and diversion continue to have a devastating effect on communities throughout the country. [...] Although the nation's prescription drug misuse and abuse epidemic has a significant impact on state and local behavioral health systems, hospitals, and emergency departments, it also has a critical public safety nexus that affects and must continue to be addressed by our law enforcement agencies and justice system. Consider that in 2007, while the brunt of the estimated $55.7 billion annual cost due to prescription opioid abuse was felt by employers and the healthcare industry, $5 billion of that burden was placed solely on the justice system. Nationwide, communities are seeing a variety of criminal behavior associated with prescription drug misuse, abuse, and diversion including users diverting opioids for nonmedical use; robberies and burglaries of pharmacies; and doctors, clinics, or pharmacies serving as pill mills by prescribing or dispensing prescription medications for nonmedical purposes."

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