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Solstas Lab Partners® Prescription Monitoring Program can help assess prescription drug abuse.

Read our pamphlet below or download the PDF here.

Why Monitor Prescription Drugs? What is the Issue?

In a period of nine months, a tiny Kentucky county of fewer than 12,000 people sees a 53-year-old mother, her 35-year-old son, and seven others die by overdosing on pain medications obtained from pain clinics in Florida. In Utah, a 13-year-old fatally overdoses on oxycodone pills taken from a friend's grandmother. A 20-year-old Boston man dies from an overdose of methadone, only a year after his friend also died from a prescription drug overdose.

These events are not uncommon. Drug overdose death rates in the United States have more than tripled since 1990 and have never been higher. In 2008, more than 36,000 people died from drug overdoses, and most of these deaths were caused by prescription drugs.

When a physician is about to prescribe a potentially addictive or mind altering drug, whether it is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant or stimulant, is it valuable to know what else the patient has not told you? Here are some interesting points to consider.

  • Should a pain reliever be prescribed without a complete picture of the patient's health history, including knowledge of the potential presence of other prescription drugs?
  • Do patients always tell you the truth about what antibiotics and other drugs they are taking?
  • Do patients always tell you the truth about their alcohol consumption?
  • Do patients always tell you the truth about any possible drugs they take that might give them a "good feeling"?

What are the consequences of patients giving you incomplete information and you never realizing it?

Patients frequently are not willing to share some practices or behaviors with their physicians. The physician needs to perform some investigative work to identify potentially unhealthy practices. What happens when a patient is using one or more CNS depressants and it is not identified by testing? Here are some facts to consider:

  • There were nearly 2.1 million Emergency Room (ER) visits in 2009 for misuse or abuse of drugs.
  • Misuse of pharmaceuticals was involved in 1.2 million ER visits in 2009.
  • In 2009, nearly 200,000 medical emergencies resulting in ER visits were for drug-related suicide attempts.

This is a list of CNS depressants that may be present with the drugs routinely prescribed. Are you ignoring Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl, Carisoprodol, Meperidine, Ambien, Buprenorphine, ETG (4-5 day alcohol biomarker), Tramadol, Nucynta? What are the consequences of not knowing?