Target: Jay Nixon, Governor of Missouri
Goal: Implement a tracking program to prevent prescription drug abuse
Earlier this year, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention classified prescription drug abuse as an epidemic. In a study from 2010, about 7 million people in the U.S. were non-medically using psychotherapeutic drugs. The most common drugs abused were pain relievers, with tranquilizers, stimulants and sedatives following in that order. Prescription drug abuse overtook car crashes as the number one cause of accidental death in 2007. In fact, there are more deaths from prescription drug abuse each year than heroin and meth combined. In the last few years, every state except one has implemented a prescription drug-monitoring program. Missouri is the lone state to refuse. Tell Missouri that it is important to make efforts to reverse this epidemic.
Part of the problem is over-prescription in general. This day and age, everyone is looking for a quick fix. People look at medication as the answer to everything, and some doctors are willing to write a prescription out for any dilemma. College students often just pop some Adderall to pull an all-nighter right before a big exam. People who intend to use prescriptions for legitimate reasons can grow dependent on them. Xanax can easily become a way to avoid dealing with things rather than as a tool to help with anxiety issues. Another problem is that people think use these prescription drugs recreationally because they think that because the drug is legal that it’s safe. They might take more than they are supposed to, or have dangerous reactions with alcohol or other drugs they are taking.
Prescription drug monitoring programs have already had success. They help reduce the number of unwarranted prescriptions and ensure that a patient receiving a prescription gets the correct dosage. Before instating a program, Florida was the state with the highest percentage of written prescriptions. Now it is ranked at 13. People who need a medication aren’t having issues, but they aren’t just being handed out like candy anymore. In 2012, a study by the University of Toledo tracked the effectiveness of prescription drug monitoring program. The subjects were patients who had prescriptions for opioid medications. After following the prescription monitoring protocol, 41 percent of prescriptions needed to be altered, and of those, the majority of opioids were reduced in dosage or completely eliminated. Some cases actually had an increase in the amount prescribed, which were dosages more specific to the patient’s needs. By signing this petition you are telling Missouri to fight the nationwide epidemic of prescription drug misuse and abuse.
Dear Governor Nixon,
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention has classified drug abuse in the U.S. as an epidemic. Death from prescription drug abuse is now the leading cause of accidental death in the country. People are lured into thinking these drugs are safe because they are legal. They become dependent, or just use them recreationally. They can interact negatively with other medications or alcohol, which can have a fatal outcome.
People can easily find a doctor to obtain Xanax when they might not even have an anxiety disorder. Students on campus don’t have to look far to find an Adderall pill from another student who was prescribed it but doesn’t really use it to function. Patients are vastly overprescribed. A drug-monitoring program would help assess patients need for medication and help reduce the number of unwarranted or excessive amounts of prescription drugs that ultimately lead to drug abuse.
[Your Name Here]
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