Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Looking for Prescription Drugs? Sign a Contract

Yup, some doctors in Franklin County are trying to combat the abuse of prescription drugs by, get this.... making the patient sign a contract! What good is that? Well, according to them, the patients who sign are then required to undergo random urine testing and provide information about their medical care.

According to the doctors, this so-called "narcotics contract" will be able to help in finding people who are seeking to abuse powerful pain drugs such as oxycontin.

"It's one thing for us to try and diagnose a problem but to try to figure out whether a patient is actually telling the truth. It becomes not a diagnosis but an investigation," said Dr. Edward Haak, director of emergency medicine at Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans.

Haak said he's witnessed the effects of prescription drug abuse in the hospital's emergency department.

"We've had more holes in the walls from people kicking because they weren't getting meds," he said. "I had to do something, and I couldn't do it myself."

The hospital boosted security because of the increased risks from people struggling with drug addiction, said JoAnn Manahan, the head nurse in the emergency department.

Eventually, the goal of this "contract" is to build a database for physicians and pharmacists that will track drug prescriptions.


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