Utilization of Pharmacists in Addressing Medication Abuse in the Pacific Northwest

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Objective:This article aims to explore the statistics observed in the Pacific Northwest regarding substance abuse, as Oregon and Washington have been shown to be most affected given the increased treatment admissions for opioid utilization and mortality related to medication overdose.Methods:Using PubMed and National Conference of State Legislatures database, articles detailing prescription drug abuse statistics, programs, and laws were collected and analyzed in order to identify possible solutions.Summary:Many studies report that pain medication prescriptions have seen a rise in recent years, however, there still exists an inadequacy in pain management. This increase in prescriptions may also contribute to the rising number in substance misuse and subsequently overdose deaths. Pharmacists can have a global effect on abuse prevention if certain monitoring strategies are implemented and enforced.Conclusion:Health-care providers and pharmacists should contribute to abuse prevention by helping to detect fraudulent prescriptions, staying up to date with current guidelines, and being aware of new safety programs such as prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs).

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