The launch of an electronic database to track the prescription of opioid painkillers in Pennsylvania has been hailed as a major step towards curbing the epidemic. The database has been designed by professionals after wide consultations and incorporates many features that make it easy to track and monitor the use of prescription painkillers. This comes after a revelation that there are any rugs that find their way into the wrong hands despite the fact that they have been rightfully prescribed by the doctors. Over the years, it has been quite difficult to monitor such situations leading to more addiction cases.
Although the forum that led to the approval of this database has been mostly solemn, the news brought about a round of applause at the Harrisburg Area Community College. The forum had been discussing ways to combat the heroin addiction epidemic which has been troubling individuals, families as well as communities in the state for the past several years. With statistics showing that the abuse is almost doubling, and that the number of deaths resulting from overdoses has been increasing every year, the authorities are keen to ensure that there is a reliable way to monitor the prescription and usage of painkiller drugs.
Indeed, the database has been a long-awaited resource since most professionals in the state believe that it will have a major impact in the fight against drug addiction. One of the biggest problems has been people obtaining prescription painkillers from multiple providers. Doctors would never know if this is happening without a database and the necessary structures that can track such prescriptions. There are many people who use such loopholes in order to find drugs that they then use to feed their addictions. Worse, there are those who use these gaps to get drugs and then sell them to addicts especially the young who are yet to get into heroin and other harder drugs.
During the forum, there were also discussions on how much needs to be done, after the unveiling of the database, to address the overdose epidemic. The Pennsylvania epidemic is a record-setting one having killed over 3,500 addicts in 2015 alone. This represents a 30 percent increase when compared to the previous year and is a cause for concern. The attendees at the forum included officials and experts among them, state rep. Ron Marsico and U.S Rep Lou Barletta. Their speeches were all focused on one thing – it was time to implement all the necessary measure that will ensure that no more people die because of addiction to drugs, and that no more people get into addicts especially those without the right information.
In Cumberland County, there was a sharp increase in the number of people losing their lives because of overdoses. So far, there have been 44 deaths in 2016 compared to 41 that were recorder in the entire 2014. According to the District Attorney, David Freed, most of these deaths involve heroin overdoses which are a result of addiction to prescription painkillers and so, the database will help to curb them.