Letters to the Editor

Baker letter: Opioids

The abuse and overdosing of controlled substances is an unrelenting issue, regardless of Idaho’s determination to help decrease the issue by making a prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) available to clinicians. I see this system underutilized in Idaho time and time again. I believe that providers must be mandated to run a PDMP report on any new opioid prescription.

Other states have noticed after requiring the use of PDMPs, the number of controlled substances prescribed has declined. This leads to fewer drugs making it to the streets and also makes it more difficult for an abuser to carry on with their self-destructive habit. Furthermore, this brings accountability to both the clinician and the consumer. Prescribers will be forced into screening for misuse or abuse. This also keeps patients responsible as they will have to speak for what is on their personal report. It will also help decrease doctor shopping by patients that are misusing these prescriptive medications.

The issue of opioid misuse and toxicity cannot persist without change. I advocate for the mandated use of the PDMP that is already in place, like other states have already done.

Sara M. Baker, Burley