Role of the Substance Abuse Treatment Community

Treatment providers, your role in fighting prescription drug abuse is crucial. Treatment helps people reclaim their lives and become contributing members of society. This area of the Web site is designed to help you learn about other groups involved in the fight against prescription drug abuse. It is important that all the stakeholders involved learn about each other and work together to combat this growing problem.

Treatment practitioners, you can help educate clients and their families about how to keep prescription medications from being used inappropriately. Click here for a flyer (in pdf format) that you can easily print and distribute to clients.

Learn about Rx Abuse and Receive NAADAC Contact Hours


Role of the PDMPs


What Are Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs)?

PDMPs are in place to assist law enforcement in the collection and analysis of data related to controlled substances through a centralized database administered by an authorized state agency. Data provided by the PDMPs assists law enforcement in identifying and investigating activities related to the illegal prescribing, dispensing and procuring of controlled substances.

States that have implemented PDMPs are able to collect and analyze prescription data much more efficiently than states without such programs, where the collection of this information requires the manual review of pharmacy files, a time-consuming and invasive process. Some PDMPs allow physicians to access data and review patients’ prescription drug histories.12

Providing the medical community access to this data allows physicians to work together to eliminate doctor shopping. Some state programs proactively notify physicians when their patients are seeing multiple prescribers for the same class of drugs. This assists health care professionals to intervene on the patient’s behalf and assist them in obtaining appropriate treatment if it is necessary.

While all PDMP programs are intended to help prevent prescription drug diversion, some programs also include educational objectives to provide physicians, pharmacists and the public with information regarding the nature and extent of the prescription drug problem in their community and the treatment options available for those who may need it.

Learn more about the benefits of PDMPs

Contact your state’s PDMP

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Role of Physicians


An estimated 70 percent of Americans (approximately 191 million people) visit their primary care physician at least once every two years.12 This puts doctors in an extraordinary position to care for their patients not only by prescribing needed medications, but also by identifying prescription drug abuse when it exists, helping their patients recognize abuse problems, and supporting their patients in seeking appropriate treatment. Research shows that by discussing problems, physicians can have a powerful effect on a patient’s willingness to address addiction.

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Collaboration is Crucial


Because the prescription drug abuse epidemic is growing so quickly, it is important for many different systems to come together now. How can your agency work with the other stakeholders in your state? Begin by learning about and contacting other agencies in your area. Use the CONNECT state systems map to learn about the PDMP in your state. Work with local medical associations and hospitals to provide assistance and education to physicians and pharmacists in your region. Take the first step to CONNECT!

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About Prescription Drug Abuse

What Drugs Are Most Often Abused?

Diversion of Legal Drugs to Illicit Use

Accessibility of Prescription Drugs

At Risk Populations – Adolescents & Young Adults

At Risk Populations – The Elderly