A few weeks ago I moderated a panel about methamphetamine and its disastrous effects on Middle America. It was clear from the discussion with Nick Reding, author of METHLAND, and Stanford addiction specialist Keith Humphreys, PhD, that if we really want to stem the national epidemic of meth use and the abuse of illegally traded prescription meds, the states have to work closely together. So it was with alarm that I read of Florida Governor Rick Scott's plan to kill a newly enacted prescription drug monitoring program in his state.
Charleston Gazette writer Alison Knezevich points out in a recent article that Florida's prescription drug regulations are "notoriously lax. In 2009, lawmakers there approved plans for a monitoring program, which would electronically track all prescriptions filled in the state to cut down on 'doctor shopping.'" Now, Scott wants to kill the plan altogether.
Knezevich goes on to say:
Police in West Virginia say it's common for people to travel to Florida and load up on prescriptions at storefront pain clinics. Flights from Huntington to Florida have been nicknamed "the Oxy Express."
Consider me shocked that Scott would want to derail the program. (West Virginia and 33 other states have prescription monitoring programs.) Thankfully, though, Scott may not have the last say, and smarter heads may prevail in the Sunshine State. News reports from Florida say that some lawmakers as well as law enforcement officials are pushing back and just saying NO to the governor's unwise decision
Previously: How to combat prescription-drug abuse and Stanford Health Policy Forum focuses on America's methamphetamine epidemic