HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Secretary of Health Dr. Karen Murphy today announced support of U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy's "Turn the Tide Rx" opioids campaign and asked for professionals and public health advocates to join a national movement to help stem the prescription opioid epidemic.
"The opioid abuse crisis is the worst epidemic I have seen in my professional career," said Secretary Murphy. "The U.S. Surgeon General's mission to curb the opioid crisis and the devastating disease of addiction through better education and communication between health professionals goes to the heart of what we've been doing in Pennsylvania. Under Governor Wolf's guidance, our revised Prescription Drug Monitoring Program gives health care providers a cutting-edge tool to work with one another to identify opioid-drug seekers and get Pennsylvanians the help they need. It is imperative that prescribers and dispensers register to use the PDMP and join with us to stem the tide of the prescription opioid abuse crisis in Pennsylvania."
The "Turn the Tide Rx" opioid campaign has three main goals:
- For health care professionals to educate themselves on how to treat pain safely and effectively;
- For health care professionals to screen patients for substance use disorder and connect them with evidence-based treatment; and
- To shape how the rest of the country sees addiction by discussing and treating it as a chronic illness, not a moral failing.
Health care professionals who would like to sign the pledge to uphold these three objectives should visit the "Turn the Tide Rx" website and add their name to the list of medical experts standing together to end opioid addiction.
Prescribers and dispensers in Pennsylvania have been using the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) through the Department of Health since August 25 to reduce the rates of drug addiction in communities. The PDMP gives providers access to a patient's controlled substance prescription medication history. If potentially abusive or addictive patterns are identified, providers can connect the patient to treatment services. Ensuring prescription drugs are not being overprescribed is a necessary first step to curb drug addiction in the commonwealth.
PDMP also helps regulatory and law enforcement agencies in the detection and prevention of fraud, drug abuse and the criminal diversion of controlled substances. It aims to reduce the supply of excess prescription drugs.
To find out more about PDMP and review the latest outreach efforts and information related to the program, please visit the Department of Health's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program web page.
Visit the department's Opioid Abuse webpage to find out more about all of the ways Pennsylvania is working to end the opioid crisis.
MEDIA CONTACT: April Hutcheson, DOH, 717-787-1783
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health