Misuse of Prescription Painkillers Becoming More Widespread Among Young Californians

TOPIC ALERT:

In a California Healthline Special Report by Kenny Goldberg, experts discussed how the recent increase in prescriptions issued for strong painkillers is contributing to a growing problem of prescription drug misuse among young Californians.

The Special Report includes comments from:

  • Tom Lenox, special agent with the Drug Enforcement Administration;
  • Michael Plopper, chief medical officer of Sharp HealthCare Behavioral Health Services;
  • Sherrie Rubin, founder and director of the not-for-profit organization HOPE; and
  • Robert Wailes, physician and member of the board of trustees for the California Medical Association (Goldberg, California Healthline, 4/11).

The complete transcript of this Special Report is available as a PDF.

Jon Roth
Dr. Popper makes a good point, that physicians do not have ongoing training in the myriad of new drugs coming onto the market and should be working collaboratively with their community pharmacist who is the medication expert. Together they can consider the best medication to prescribe to optimize the targeted therapeutic goals while limiting the potential for abuse. Also, the CURES program was almost completely defunded last year by Governor Brown through AB97, so that tool for prescribers and pharmacists is no longer viable.

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