Policymakers have been struggling with how to best stop the nation's fastest growing drug problem—prescription drug abuse. One of the Administration's recent efforts is this weekend's National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day.
The United States Drug Enforcement Agency has announced that on Saturday, April 28, the agency and its national and community partners will hold National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day at sites nationwide. This event provides an opportunity for individuals and families to safely dispose of unwanted or unused prescription drugs, and to reduce the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse in their communities.
RAND Health has done numerous studies examining causes of the rise in prescription drug abuse and policy options for prescription drug abuse prevention. Recent RAND reports exploring issues related to prescription drug abuse include:
Online prescription drug sales require better oversight: For every 10 percent increase in high-speed Internet use at the state level, associated treatment facility admissions for prescription drug abuse rose by 1 percent.
About one-third of veterans report using alcohol, street drugs, or medication prescribed for others to manage pain.
Multiple dimensions of harm need to be displayed to inform human judgments of what drugs should be scheduled; recent efforts ignores drug interactions and mix aggregate and individual harms inappropriately.
Abuse of prescription drugs represents a growing problem. This article discusses the challenge to federal and private efforts to combat the problem and outlines strategies for physicians to recognize and minimize the effects of the availability of these medications on the Internet.