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Prescription drug abuse: Executive summary of a policy position paper from the American College of Physicians

Kirschner, N., Ginsburg, J., and Snyder Sulmasy, L. – 2013

A position paper on prescription drug abuse from the American College of Physicians. Presents background information and data on the growing problem of nonmedical use of prescription medications, particularly prescription opioids. Presents a series of recommendations from the ACP, including efforts to reduce substance abuse and increase awareness, the establishment of prescription drug monitoring programs, and the education of physicians and patients on the dangers of nonmedical use of prescription drugs. Appendix contains additional information on groups at increased risk for prescription drug abuse (youth, the elderly, and rural populations). Also discusses prescription drug abuse and Medicaid fraud, causes and contributing factors, and adverse consequences. Presents an overview of the challenges for physicians and policymakers and discusses the current regulatory framework (the FDA, the DEA, Medicare and Medicaid, prescription drug monitoring programs, and state medical boards). Summarizes recent federal and state legislative initiatives to address the problem. Appendix also includes additional information to support each of the ACP policy positions.