SHAHEEN: PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING ESSENTIAL IN FIGHT AGAINST ADDICTION

Shaheen welcomes launch of New Hampshire Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

October 16, 2014

In support of her continued efforts to combat prescription drug addiction and abuse in New Hampshire, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today welcomed the launch of the New Hampshire Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (NH PDMP). With the NH PDMP in place, New Hampshire providers and pharmacists who are authorized to prescribe or dispense schedule II-IV controlled substances within the state can begin to register with the program. Once registered, providers and pharmacists will be able to use the information in the database and review any control history a patient may have prior to prescribing or dispensing controlled substances.

“Many prescription drugs can become highly addictive, and New Hampshire has become particularly plagued by a growing substance abuse epidemic,” Shaheen said. “Prescription drug monitoring is essential to stemming the illegal abuse of prescription drugs and protecting families and our communities.”

Shaheen has been working to combat New Hampshire’s rising substance abuse problem, calling for investments and support for key programs to assist local law enforcement and healthcare providers to appropriately address what has become a top public health issue in the Granite State. According to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (NHDHHS), the number of people admitted to state treatment programs increased 500 percent for prescription drug use over the last 10 years, with the largest increases occurring in just the last two years.

Earlier this year, the Senate Appropriations Committee unanimously adopted several provisions Shaheen proposed, including a request for robust funding to support the Department of Justice drug monitoring program through which NH PDMP is funded, as well as other anti-drug programs that were a direct result of her outreach with federal, state and local law enforcement officials along with public health and treatment professionals. In September, Shaheen announced the designation of Rockingham County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), providing Rockingham County with additional resources to fight illegal trafficking, as well as Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support Program funding for New Hampshire. Shaheen is also a sponsor of bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the National All-Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting (NASPER) program, which provides grants to states to maintain, improve, and expand their prescription drug monitoring programs.