State Aims to Track Narcotic Prescriptions

June 25, 2011

Painkillers continue to

plague Washington. The state had the nation’s sixth-highest rate of self-reported, non-medical use of

prescription painkillers in 2007-2008. On June 27, the Washington State Department of Health will hold a hearing

on rules aimed at helping to turn that around.
    Isaac Kaplan-Woolner spoke with an official

at the Department of Health about a proposal to keep track of where, when, and by whom narcotic prescriptions are

    The DOH notes that prescription drug misuse is both a national and a local

problem. It’s caused an alarming growth in overdose deaths, hospitalizations, admissions for substance

abuse, and other non-medical use, according to a news release out Thursday.
In Washington, deaths involving

unintentional prescription pain reliever overdoses increased nearly 21-fold from 24 in 1995 to 490 in 2009. In the

past decade, the numbers of hospitalizations for prescription pain reliever dependence and abuse have doubled,

hospitalizations for methadone poisoning have increased five-fold, and poisoning hospitalizations from other

prescription pain relievers have increased four-fold.


Post new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.