DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AWARDS $6.2 MILLION TO HELP STATES FIGHT PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice today announced awards of more than $6.2 million to 22 states to support prescription drug monitoring programs, which help prevent and detect abuse of pharmaceutical controlled substances, particularly at the retail level. These grants, administered by the Office of Justice Programs' (OJP) Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), are provided through the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
"Forged and fraudulent prescriptions can remain unreported or undetected unless states have a program or agency committed to addressing the issue," said Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. "These awards will fund monitoring programs, which are efficient tools for early detection and reduction of prescription drug abuse while offering quick access to information about drugs most likely to be abused."
The number of states that applied for funding has more than doubled since OJP began administering the program in 2002, with operational prescription drug monitoring programs now in 22 states. States with prescription monitoring programs can collect and analyze prescription data much more efficiently than states without programs and studies show that states with programs experience lower incidences of inappropriate prescriptions.
For example, one of the most abused prescription drugs, OxyContin, is often sought by abusers who "doctor shop" or obtain prescriptions illegally. The prevalence of prescriptions for the drug can be an indicator of abuse trends. In the five states with the lowest per capita number of OxyContin prescriptions, each had a long-standing prescription monitoring program in place. No prescription monitoring program existed, however, in the five states with a significantly high per capita number of prescriptions and abuse trends of OxyContin.
The 2005 Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program provides assistance to states to establish a prescription drug monitoring program and enhance existing programs. The program includes specialized technical assistance to initiate and enhance programs, and help states with their efforts to share information collected with neighboring states.
A pilot program has been added this year to enhance information sharing among neighboring states. This will enable states to take advantage of the work done in support of the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM). GJXDM is a result of OJP's technology standard for information sharing, which provides a commonly accepted model that enables states to exchange information between contrasting information systems. Information about the GJXDM is available at: www.ojp.usdoj.gov. Efforts to evaluate prescription drug monitoring programs and enhance the treatment referral process for patients identified by the program as having a prescription drug abuse problem are also new this year.
The list of awards to states under the 2005 Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program follows. More information on the program is available at: www.ojp.usdoj.gov.
The Office of Justice Programs provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises five component bureaus and two offices: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Office of the Police Corps and Law Enforcement Education and the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy and OJP's American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Desk. More information can be found at www.ojp.usdoj.gov.