New Port Richey, FL – Despite prescription drug abuse and overdoses reaching epidemic proportions, many states remain tepid to the idea of prescription drug monitoring databases as a means of rectifying the problem. California is considering cutting off funding, while the Florida Legislature refuses to permanently designate state money to its monitoring system1. Novus Medical Detox, one of the only Florida-based detox centers serving high-dosage prescription drug abuse patients across the USA, says prescription drug monitoring systems are not an option, but rather a necessity.
Prescription drug databases have been proven effective—Tampa Bay, for instance, has seen a 30% decrease in prescription drug deaths with the help of its database, greater regulation of the cash-only pain clinics known as pill mills, and increased law enforcement efforts. Yet some states are still unwilling to fully commit to monitoring databases, due to the costs associated with their implementation, which could reach upwards of $500,000 a year2. Novus warns that the costs should be the least of anyone’s worries, as the potential side effects of abolishing prescription drug databases could be devastating:
Nine years ago, Robert Pack was strolling with his family in their Danville neighborhood when a woman driving 45 MPH struck and killed two of his children.
Pack later found out that physicians at Kaiser Permanente had issued thousands of prescriptions to the woman. Just a couple of weeks earlier, he said, “she had received 315 Vicodin, 180 Flexeril muscle relaxants—and took them all prior to that accident.”
“I lost my 10-year-old son Troy and my 7-year-old daughter Alana to a doctor shopper,” Pack said.3
Novus Executive Director Kent Runyon maintains that prescription drug databases, along with the help of medical detox facilities (www.novusdetox.com), can help prevent such situations.
“Drug databases are competent in reducing the amount of deaths from prescription drug abuse,” said Runyon. “State legislatures should authorize funding and focus on saving lives—with the help of monitoring programs, detox facilities can better tackle the epidemic.”
While these databases can help in mitigating drug abuse, Novus also insists that safe and effective detox centers are fundamental in ensuring a safe withdrawal for addicts. Because of the painful withdrawals associated with prescription drug abuse, prescription drug addicts typically shy away from “getting clean”. The pain, according to Novus, can be so extreme that the fear of it alone will drive many addicts to stay on powerful drugs, even when they do not want to, in order to avoid withdrawing and possibly even dying.
Novus advises those who are dependent on prescription drugs to seek out safe, medically-supervised detox programs. The pillars of reliable detox programs include, but are not limited to:
- Individualized programs and one-on-one medical attention. Because each patient has a different drug history and physical condition, they respond differently to the detox process. Personalized programs and 24/7 medical care are crucial to ensuring a safe and effective detox.
- Use of a minimal amount of medications that make detox comfortable and safe. Using methadone or other drugs used for detoxing could cause the patient to become dependent on that substance—effectively switching the addiction rather than eliminating it.
- A stress-free environment that uses natural supplements whenever possible. Minimal stress allows patients to focus on recovery, which bodes well for long-term sobriety. The correct natural supplements can help rebuild a body ravaged by toxic medications.
Runyon asserts that until states realize that monitoring systems are critical, the number of addicts will continue to rise.
“Aligned with effective detox and rehabilitation programs, monitoring systems can effectively help lessen prescription drug abuse,” said Runyon. “Working together, we can begin to help people get their lives back.”
1“Tampa Bay Times.” Tampabay.com. Tampa Bay Times, 14 May 2013. Web. 21 May 2013. tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-fight-on-prescription-drug-abuse-not-over/2120947.
2“Tampa Bay Times.” Tampabay.com. Tampa Bay Times, 14 May 2013. Web. 21 May 2013. tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-fight-on-prescription-drug-abuse-not-over/2120947.
3Small, Julie. “Funds to Run out for Database That Monitors Prescription Drug Usage.” Scpr.org. N.p., 15 Apr. 2013. Web. 21 May 2013. scpr.org/news/2013/04/15/36829/funds-to-run-out-for-database-that-monitors-prescr/.
Source: Novus/JoTo PR