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 STRATEGY 7 – Modify & Change Policies

Support formal changes in written policies, laws and procedures aimed at preventing current and future Rx abuse. Examples include workplace initiatives, law enforcement procedures and practices, public policy actions and systems change within government, communities and organizations.

Target lawmakers, state and local public officials, employers and others involved in setting rules and regulations.

Print out this document, and check off the strategies that are most relevant to your community.

  • Support the passage and utilization of
    • Prescription drug monitoring (PMP) programs and model state drug laws.
    • Drug take-back and disposal legislation.
    • Legislation that prohibits e-scribing of narcotics and other Rx drugs of abuse.
    • Statutes that support increased penalties against doctors who practice unscrupulous prescribing procedures.
    • Laws that increase prosecution of those involved in doctor shopping. This is particularly relevant for states with fluid borders.
    • Laws and practices that reward health care professionals for being willing and eager partners in preventing Rx abuse.
  • Become engaged in educating pharmacies and health care professionals about the value of these laws and policies, and encourage them to collaborate with neighboring pharmacies and doctors’ offices in and outside of your community.
  • Encourage pharmaceutical companies to participate in Rx disposal efforts—in some states, the role of pharmaceuticals is written into law—and ensure the consistent presence of take-back programs so they are not just twice-a-year events.
  • Create an Rx abuse law state report card that compares your state’s activities with other jurisdictions. Use it to educate state and local legislators.
  • Support formalized reporting policies and practices between health care professionals and law enforcement officers.
  • Promote the use of drug courts, as well as appropriate sentencing for those under 21 years of age.
  • Promote the use of screening and brief intervention (SBIRT) for teens and also increased access to treatment for Rx addiction.
  • Engage the local zoning office to help ensure citizen oversight on how land is used in your community. This is particularly relevant with the increasing presence of “pill mills” in communities that are poor and disfranchised.
  • Collaborate with the local health care associations in supporting the use of tamper-proof prescription pads.
  • Organize and launch a March to the State Capitol to promote the passage of Rx abuse prevention, treatment and recovery legislation.
  • Consider supporting drug testing policies and practices within school settings.
  • Acknowledge the importance of Rx abuse prevention, treatment and recovery by including interventions in school and drug-free workplace and health insurance policies.
  • Include policy makers in your Rx abuse prevention outreach campaign.
    • Submit personalized, hard-copy letters (not just e-mails) to politicians about the importance of prescription drug abuse prevention legislation.
    • Initiate briefings that encourage programmatic buy-in from politicians, health care professional organizations, pharmacists.
    • Coordinate youth presentations to policy boards (e.g. school board, city council, county superintendents).