The opioid epidemic continues to rage across rural California, but the California Department of Justice has not yet certified a database that could stop doctors from overprescribing opioids. This lag has angered consumers and law enforcement groups who argue that the California Department of Justice is stopping efforts to prevent opioid abuse. The database is important for stopping doctors from shopping for patients suffering from opioid addiction. More than half of the states in the US require doctors prescribing the drugs to check statewide prescription drug monitoring databases. However, California state officials said they require additional time to make sure the database can handle a large number of users without crashing. Officials hope the database will be up and running by July.
How is California Preventing Opioid Abuse?
In response to the opioid epidemic, the California Department of Public Health utilizes the Statewide Opioid Safety Workgroup, originally implemented in 2014. The workgroup aims to:
- Promote safe prescribing and dispensing practices.
- Encourage proper pain management methods.
- Minimize the unintended consequence of increased heroin use.
- Promote the expansion of medically assisted treatment opportunities.
In addition, patients who use opioids for pain management are encouraged to understand the risks of taking their prescribed pain killer. They can further discuss with their doctor alternatives to opioids for pain management. If a patient does have to take opioids, it could be possible for the patient to also be prescribed naloxone to prevent accidental overdose. It is recommended to keep prescription opioids secure and not share the pills with other family members. This could help minimize the risk of other people becoming addicted to pain killers.
If you've been injured by defective drugs, contact the attorneys at Martzell, Bickford, and Centola. We have years of experienced handling defective drug and medical malpractice lawsuits and can offer legal guidance when building your case. Call us to schedule a consultation today.