More Efforts to Prevent Prescription Meds Abuse in California

The United States is the largest consumer of prescription pain killers in the world and accounts for approximately 80% of the world's consumption of such drugs. The U.S. prescribes pain killers at a rate that would provide every American one pill for every four hours all day for three weeks. Pain pill prescriptions grew an astounding 600 percent from 1997- 2007 according to the government. Although that may be good news for the U.S. pharmaceutical industry, in may not be such good news for consumers (or their families and loved ones). Accidental overdose is now the number one cause of accidental deaths in this country, exceeding even the number of deaths in traffic accidents.   Heath Ledger's tragic and well publicized death is but one of many celebrity accidental overdoses that has garnered significant attention, but the truth is that it is happening to your family, friends and neighbors as well. A Dangerous Road of Tolerance and Addiction Our seemingly endless reliance on pain killing medication certainly provides relief.…

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California’s Prescription Monitoring System Threatened by Budget Cuts

Two of the biggest cases of prescription drug diversion in California weren't broken open by detective work alone.  Dr. Lisa Barden, an obstetrician from the Coachella Valley, stole patients' identities to fuel her own prescription drug addiction.  Dr. Nazar Al Bussam, was the top provider of illegal prescription drugs in Southern California for three years.  Both doctors were arrested after being flagged by California's prescription drug monitoring system. California's system, known as the Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES), is the oldest drug monitoring program in the nation. Read more about CURES at the State of California Department of Justice Website. At a time when prescription drug abuse is at an all-time high, California Governor Jerry Brown is threatening to shut down the system in response to budget cuts.  According to authorities, future investigations into unethical doctors and illegal prescriptions would be seriously impacted if the system was no longer updated with prescription information from pharmacies. Three years ago, the CURES database was moved online and made…

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