Ohio Legislators Frustrated By Drug Abuse Epidemic

The OOA is part of a group of  provider organizations and various licensing boards that are meeting with leaders of the House Rx Addiction Study Committee to find common ground on 15 prescription drug abuse bills rpending in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Legislators on the House Health and Aging Committee are impatient with progress to date in the war against prescription drug abuse and deaths. Over the past summer, legislators saw first-hand how the prescription drug abuse crisis has impacted citizens in their districts by conducting a series of hearings around the state. Although there has been positive momentum to reverse trends as a result of educational efforts of the Governors Cabinet Opiate Action Team (GCOAT), much work needs to be done.

Legislators complain some physicians still have not gotten the message about the severity of the problem. Their uniformed comments to lawmakers are leading to increased skepticism and frustration in the legislature. The physician organizations continue to advocate for an educational approach to solving the problem, while the legislators, impatient with results to date, continue to press for penalties and more stringentlaws to get the attention of the physician community.

The OOA urges all DOs to adopt and implement recommendations contained in Responsible Opioid Prescribing by Scott M. Fishman, MD, published with support from the Federation of State Medical Boards and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the US Department of Health and Human Services. For more information or to order a copy go to: http://www.fsmb.org/cme/.  

For Ohio-specific resources visit www.opioidprescribing.ohio.gov. The site also has links to OARRS registration. If you have not signed up for OARRS, you may soon be receiving a letter from the Ohio State Medical Board requesting that you do so.

Help us by also spreading the word about these safe-prescribing resources to any members of the health care team who are non-OOA member prescribers and may not be paying attention! This includes physician assistants, advance practice nurses and dentists. Sign up for OARRS, implement recommendations, and continue to take care of pain patients who behave responsibility.


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