Working Together to Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse and Overdose Deaths
Key Objective 3:
Provide training and education aimed at helping the criminal justice community (e.g., law enforcement, court, lawyers, etc.) better understand prescription drug abuse and better navigate the interface between public health and law enforcement
The criminal justice community plays an important role in the prescription drug epidemic, ensuring public safety both from a law enforcement perspective, as well as from a heath perspective. As a result, knowledge about prescription drug abuse and its causes, effects, treatments, and interfaces between public health and law enforcement can help make the criminal justice community more effective at accomplishing their goals.
The Law Enforcement Action Team will work with various other pertinent action teams to:
- Determine law enforcement and criminal justice needs and conduct corresponding educational trainings and seminars on controlled substances, CURES, appropriate versus suspected inappropriate prescribing practices, the role of medication-assisted addiction treatment and naloxone, as well as other aspects of prescription drug abuse.
- Explore and seize opportunities to better link the criminal justice and substance use disorder system of care in order to expand the interface between public health and law enforcement.
Law Enforcement Action Team
Priority Area I:
Education and Training
Priority Area V:
Key Objective 9:
Collaborate with law enforcement to identify and address improper practices that threaten public health, such as indiscriminate prescribing by “pill mills” and inappropriate "doctor shopping" in order to secure prescription drugs
Prescription drug abuse poses a significant threat to public health. In addition to educating health care professionals on safe prescribing practices, there are also subsets of practitioners that abuse their prescribing privileges through illegitimate practices, and a subset of patients who attempt to secure controlled substances by visiting different prescribers in different locations. In these instances, law enforcement plays an integral role in controlling prescription drug abuse.
The Law Enforcement Action Team will work with pertinent action teams, including the Data Collection Action Team, to:
- Increase information-sharing in order to help identify problematic prescribers and instances of “doctor shopping.”
- Continue aggressive enforcement actions against clinics and practitioners who are not engaging in legitimate prescribing and not prescribing within the usual course of practice.
- Encourage best practices by identifying individuals engaging in “doctor shopping” and notifying their prescribers, pharmacies, and insurance providers.
Law Enforcement Action Team
Lead: Cdr. Judy Gerhardt, Lt. Joshua Stahl, Lt. Glenn Walsh