Prescription drug abuse is found throughout all aspects of the U.S. population and is a serious
public health problem. Physicians and other health professionals with prescribing privileges are
entrusted with the authority to use medications in the treatment of their patients and therefore
have an important role in helping to ensure safe and effective use of this treatment option and the
deterrence of its abuse. This paper is intended to provide guidance to prescribers and policymakers
regarding measures to effectively address the problem of prescription drug abuse and offers the
1. ACP supports appropriate and effective efforts to reduce all substance abuse. These include
educational, prevention, diagnostic, and treatment efforts. As physicians dealing with the health
effects of this condition, we also support medical research on addiction and its causes and treatment.
2. ACP supports a comprehensive national policy on prescription drug abuse containing education,
monitoring, proper disposal, and enforcement elements.
3. ACP supports the consideration by physicians of the full array of treatments available for the
effective treatment and management of pain.
4. ACP supports the establishment of a national Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP). Until
such a program is implemented, ACP supports efforts to standardize state PDMPs through the federal
National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting (NASPER) program. Prescribers and
dispensers should check PDMPs in their own and neighboring states (as permitted) prior to writing
or filling prescriptions for medications containing controlled substances. All PDMPs should
maintain strong protections to assure confidentiality and privacy.
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