Federal Government Response to Prescription Drug Abuse

The White House unveiled an aggressive plan to curb prescription drug abuse on April 19, 2011.   The plan will include some new federal requirements aimed at educating the medical community about the proper use of prescription drugs. There are four main parts to the administration’s initiative: education, monitoring, taking unused prescription drugs back and enforcement of drug laws. 

A task force has been gathered by the Federal Government to take action.  This task force includes: 

  • Gil Kerlikowske, White House Drug Control Policy Director
  • Margaret Hamburg, M.D., Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration
  • Howard Koh, M.D., Assistant Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Michele Leonhart, Deputy Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration
  • Karen Perry, Executive Director Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education Task Force

The abuse of Prescription Drugs is an alarming public health crisis and is suffocating our society.  The misuse of prescription drugs is the leading cause of accidental death in 17 states.  In many states the number of deaths due to the misuse of prescription drugs now exceeds auto accidents.

In 2007, 28,000 Americans died from unintentional drug abuse.   In September of 2010, the CDC organized the first collection of old, unused prescription drugs in 4000 locations across the country and they collected 21 tons of prescription drugs.  On April 30, 2011, there will be another collection.  Please look in your medicine cabinets for old, unused, prescription drugs and find a location to properly dispose of these prescription drugs.

 Below is the link to the formal announcement made by the task force organized by the White House.  It is about 45 minutes long.

http://wwww.c-spanvideo.org/program/PrescriptionDrugAbus&showFullAbstract=1

Gil Kerlikowske reported:   “America is in the midst of a public health epidemic driven by prescription drug abuse.  Prescription drug abuse is our nations fastest growing drug problem.  According to the CDC, it is an epidemic.” 

Half of all teens believe prescription drugs are easy to get from their parents medicine cabinets.  Please take action now!  Educate yourself, protect our youth – protect your children, properly dispose of prescription drugs.

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