Readout of White House Drug Policy Director's Meeting with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Plan Foundation
Tallahassee, FL. – Today, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy, and Rene Breuer, Vice-Chairperson of the Florida Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) Foundation met to discuss the Nation’s prescription drug abuse epidemic and its effect on Florida and the region, as well as proven strategies that help reduce prescription drug diversion and abuse. During the meeting, they discussed the importance of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs, innovative local approaches to addressing pill mills in Florida, best prescribing practices for the medical community, and solutions used in other states to address prescription drug abuse.
“An average of 7 people die in Florida each day as a result of prescription drug abuse. The citizens of Florida would benefit tremendously from a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program,” said Director of National Drug Policy Gil Kerlikowske. “Our Nation’s prescription drug epidemic stretches across borders and requires a collaborative response from all of us. We owe it to the thousands of victims of prescription drug abuse in Florida and throughout the Nation to work together to implement state initiatives like Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs that we know work to reduce this public health threat.”
Prescription drug abuse is the Nations’ fastest-growing and deadliest drug problem. Drug induced deaths (driven primarily by prescription drug overdose) are now the second leading cause of injury death in the country, behind only traffic crashes. In Florida, opiates, including prescription drugs, are now the second-most commonly abused drug among the State’s drug treatment clients, second only to marijuana.
ONDCP is coordinating an unprecedented government-wide public health approach to reduce drug use and its consequences in the United States. This effort includes increasing funding for drug prevention by $123 million and treatment programs by $99 million dollars, expanding Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs across the Nation, assisting states in addressing doctor shopping and pill mills, placing a heavier emphasis on early intervention programs in health settings, driving illegal Internet pharmacies out of business, and expanding access to substance abuse treatment.