Telling numbers illustrate the need for action with regard to prescription drug abuse.

  • The rate of prescription drug abuse in Kentucky has doubled among men and tripled among women in the past 10 years. 
  • Florida estimates suggest as many as seven people overdose daily on prescription drugs.
  • Deaths from prescription drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in 17 states.
  • Nearly one-third of all people age 12 and older who abuse drugs for the first time abuse prescription drugs.

Staff from CSG’s National Center for Interstate Compacts (NCIC) hosted a webinar highlighting the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse.  During the March 7 session participants heard from two subject matter experts about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, state sponsored prescription monitoring programs, and CSG’s efforts to develop a prescription monitoring compact that would allow states to securely share prescription drug data across state lines.  

CSG's National Center for Interstate Compacts will host an upcoming webinar highlighting CSG's work to limit prescription drug abuse .  The webinar, which is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7 at 1:30 PM Eastern Time will focus on CSG's efforts to develop a prescription drug monitoring compact.  During the hour long session attendees will hear from the following subject matter experts:

Prescription drug abuse continues to be recognized as the nation’s fastest-growing drug problem.  The latest “Monitoring the Future” study from the University of Michigan indicated that prescription drugs are second only to marijuana in their frequency of abuse. In Kentucky, the rate of overdoses from prescription drugs doubled among men and tripled among women between 2000 and 2009. In Florida, estimates suggest as many as seven people are dying daily from accidental overdoses. Deaths from prescription drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death in 17 states.

Prescription drug abuse continues to be recognized as the nation’s fastest-growing drug  problem. Data from the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health indicated that nearly one-third of people age 12 and older who used drugs for the first time started by using prescription drugs for nonmedical purposes.

Dating back to America’s colonial past, interstate compacts are one of the few tools specifically granted to states by the U.S. Constitution. The evolution of the modern compact has provided states and territories ("the states") a sophisticated administrative mechanism, allowing interstate collaboration to resolve complex policy challenges, while simultaneously avoiding federal intervention.  Policymakers should have several compacts on their radar in 2012.  Below is list of some important compacts and a status update for each. 

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Vermont law barring the sale of prescription drug data for marketing purposes.  A 6-3 ruling by the Court concluded the Vermont law violated the free speech rights of drug manufactures.  At issue was the ability of pharmacists to sell prescription drug data to drug companies, which was then being used for marketing purposes.  While the Vermont law made this practice illegal, it permitted similar data to be sold for other purposes, such as research. 

This week the Obama Administration unveiled an ambitious plan to curb prescription drug abuse by cracking down on pill mills and doctor shopping and requiring drug manufacturers to develop education programs aimed at both doctors and patients. 

Legislators this year will consider a host of new compacts that could help them tackle a variety of challenging issues, covering everything from prescription drug abuse to insurance. The Council of State Governments’ National Center for Interstate Compacts has been instrumental in helping craft these compacts.

 

Dating back to America’s colonial past, interstate compacts are one of the few tools specifically granted to states by the U.S. Constitution. While it is unlikely our Founding Fathers anticipated the scope and breadth of today’s state government policy challenges, their inclusion of compacts in the Constitution provided state policymakers with a powerful, durable, and adaptive tool for ensuring cooperative action among the states. The growth of the modern
compact has further provided states a sophisticated administrative mechanism, allowing interstate collaboration to resolve complex policy challenges, while simultaneously avoiding federal intervention. 

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