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November 29, 2012

SAMHSA Prevention of Prescription Drug Abuse in the Workplace Listserv

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November 29, 2012 (PDF version)
Journal Articles
Adrienne S. Allen and Thomas D. Sequist. 2012. "Pharmacy Dispensing of Electronically Discontinued Medications." Annals of Internal Medicine 157(10):700-05.
Dispensing discontinued prescriptions is a major patient safety concern. Electronic health records should be used to facilitate better communication between providers and pharmacies and improve drug safety.
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Related News Article
Scrips Being Refilled After Docs Say Stop
MedPage Today
November 23, 2012
Prescriptions are occasionally refilled even after a doctor has canceled the order. In at least three of every 200 cases in which a patient's medication was discontinued, the prescription was still refilled.
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C. Blanco, R. Secades-Villa, O. García-Rodríguez, M. Labrador-Mendez, S. Wang, and R.P. Schwartz. 2012. "Probability and Predictors of Remission from Life-Time Prescription Drug Use Disorders: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions." Journal of Psychiatric Research 47(1):42-49.
A significant number of people with prescription drug use disorders go into remission at some point in their lives. Researchers found remission predictors were mostly substance specific rather than common across substances. Lower remission rates among certain subgroups emphasize the need for stronger preventive and intervention efforts.
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D.A. Collins, K.W. Johnson, and S.R. Shamblen. 2012. "Examining a Home Environmental Strategy to Reduce Availability of Legal Products That Can Be Misused by Youth." Substance Use and Misuse 47(12):1339-48. doi:10.3109/10826084.2012.716481.
The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation studied a home environmental strategy designed to reduce youths' access to inhalants, prescription drugs, and other harmful products taken to get high.
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J.A. Ford and J. McCutcheon. 2012. "The Misuse of Ambien Among Adolescents: Prevalence and Correlates in a National Sample." Addictive Behaviors 37(12):1389-94.
This study examined data from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, identifying numerous risk factors for Ambien misuse, including age, race, income, religiosity, delinquency, depression, social bonding, peer substance use, and other substance use.
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Richard Isralowitz. 2012. "Prescription Drug Use Among Young Adults: Blaming the Victim." Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 12:446-48. doi:10.1080/1533256X.2012.728117.
Wider availability of prescription drugs and easier access may be at the root of the prescription drug abuse problem. More than half of people who reported nonmedical use of Rx drugs said they received the medicine from a friend or relative.
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Ateev Mehrotra, Suzanne Paone, G. Daniel Martich, Steven M. Albert, and Grant J. Shevchik. 2012. "A Comparison of Care at E-visits and Physician Office Visits for Sinusitis and Urinary Tract Infection." Archives of Internal Medicine 1-2. doi:10.1001/2013.jamainternmed.305.
Patient care was compared at electronic visits (e-visits) and physician office visits for two conditions. The findings raised some interesting points about virtual visits. For example, antibiotic prescribing rates were higher, and half of current e-visit patients said they would use virtual visits again. The authors noted that follow-up rates were a rough proxy for misdiagnosis or treatment failure. [We included this article because we wonder if the higher prescription rate suggests e-visits increase risk of prescription drug abuse or the success of prescription shopping by abusers.]
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Related News Article
E-Visits Could Lead to Overprescribing: Study
November 19, 2012
Based on a study of two medical conditions and one outcomes measure, e-visits appear to produce the same level of clinical care as face-to-face doctors' appointments.
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B. Wilsey and H. Prasad. 2012. "Real-Time Access to Prescription Drug Monitoring Databases." Canadian Medical Association Journal 184(16):1767-68.
This commentary discusses an article on centralized prescription monitoring and claims implementing such a program could help reduce inappropriate prescribing of benzodiazepines and opioids. The authors also examine reporting practices of centralized databases and the significance of the program for the United States and Canada.
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News Articles & Reports
New York Audit Finds Painkiller Prescription Errors
November 21, 2012
In a review of 28.5 million prescriptions dispensed over 15 months, New York auditors uncovered 325,000 errors and inconsistencies in prescriptions for painkillers and other commonly abused drugs. Oxycodone, hydrocodone, and Ambien accounted for nearly half of the 565,000 filled prescriptions with errors or inconsistencies.
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States Fight Prescription Drug Addiction Epidemic with Patient Contracts, Data Tracking
November 21, 2012
Officials in Nebraska, Vermont, and Maine are working to raise awareness of prescription drug abuse and develop viable solutions.
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World's Biggest Independent Drug Use Survey Is Launched
The Guardian
November 22, 2012
The Global Drug Survey will ask tens of thousands of people about the drugs they use, why and how often they take them, and if there are social, medical, and legal consequences.
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More Californians Driving High Than Drunk on Weekends, Study Says
Los Angeles Times
November 19, 2012
The California Office of Traffic Safety found 14 percent of surveyed drivers drove under the influence of impairing drugs--illegal and prescription. About 7 percent tested positive for drinking and driving.
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Older Americans Behavioral Health Issue Brief 5: Prescription Medication and Abuse Among Older Adults
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Aging
This resource can be used as a fact sheet for older adults.
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Please e-mail Rekaya Gibson at rgibson@pire.org with questions or comments about the SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Listserv.  
About PAW and the Listserv
The PAW TA Center addresses prescription drug abuse--a growing public health problem with increasing burdens on workers, workplaces, and our economy. Prescription drug abuse affects workplace productivity and increases employee absenteeism, employee presenteeism, and workers' compensation claims. On a wider scale, overdose deaths linked to prescription opioids tripled from 1999 to 2006, and prescription drug abuse killed more Americans in 2009 than died that year in auto crashes.
Send your request for PAW technical assistance to PAW-TA@pire.org or contact Rekaya Gibson at 504.261.8107 or Deborah Galvin at 240.276.2721. Requests are subject to SAMHSA approval. You will be notified of the status of your request.
We aim to conduct systematic and inclusive searches of professional journals, leading newspapers and magazines, and federal websites, as well as contributions from listserv subscribers (please e-mail suggestions to rgibson@pire.org). We will send links to articles along with brief descriptions of those articles. As we develop the listserv, however, we hope to add commentary and invite feedback from subscribers. Our goal is to expand the listserv to become a widely used and recognized source of the most current and authoritative information on prescription drug abuse--especially in workplaces.
The SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Listserv is a service provided by the SAMHSA Preventing Prescription Abuse in the Workplace Technical Assistance Center (PAW) to keep the field abreast of recent news and journal articles to assist in forming policy, research, and programs to reduce prescription drug misuse or abuse. Please note, the materials listed are not reflective of SAMHSA's or PAW's viewpoints or opinions and are not assessed for validity, reliability, or quality. The SAMHSA Prescription Drug Abuse Listserv should not be considered an endorsement of the findings. Readers are cautioned not to act on the results of single studies, but rather to seek bodies of evidence. Copyright considerations prevent PAW from providing full-text journal articles. 
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