U.S. Attorney: More Attention Needed To Fighting Rx Drug Abuse In Kansas
Public Can Get Involved During Drug Take Back Day April 27
KANSAS CITY, KAN. – U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom today called on Kansans to join the fight against prescription drug abuse.
“There’s good news and bad news in our fight against prescription drug abuse in Kansas,” Grissom said. “The bad news is that funding for the state’s prescription monitoring program remains uncertain. The good news is that Saturday, April 27, is national Drug Take Back Day.”
From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Drug Take Back Day, more than 60 law enforcement agencies around Kansas will be accepting unused prescription drugs for safe disposal.
“Kansans need to clean out their medicine cabinets to help prevent prescription drugs from falling into the wrong hands,” Grissom said. “Prescription drug abuse continues to be our nation’s fastest growing drug problem. Prescription painkillers cause more overdose deaths each year than heroin and cocaine combined.”
“National data shows that as many as 16 million Americans age 12 or older have abused controlled prescription medications including pain relievers, tranquilizers, sedatives and stimulants,” Grissom said.
To locate a disposal site near you, visit the Take Back Day Web site at this address:
Grissom said he is concerned that grant funding is running out this year for K-TRACS, the state’s prescription drug monitoring program. K-Tracs provides prescribers and dispensers with information on patients receiving controlled substances. It is designed to help prevent and detect the diversion of controlled substances.
“K-TRACS is a critical tool for doctors, pharmacists and law enforcement agencies,” Grissom said. “I am very concerned that its future funding is in doubt.”
K-TRACS was set up by the Kansas Board of Pharmacy with the help of a grant from the Department of Justice. It began collecting data from dispensers in February 2011. In April 2011 it began offering dispensers and prescribers the ability to query the system for information that could indicate controlled substances were being abused and diverted.
K-TRACS recently reported to the Kansas legislature, for instance, that a 32-year-old Olathe woman had received 46 prescriptions from 36 different physicians from Oct. 1 to Dec. 3 2012.
Staff at the Kansas Board of Pharmacy have identified various ways to raise the roughly $180,000 to $300,000 a year it takes to operate K-TRACS from user fees or other methods.
“I won’t try to tell the Kansas lawmakers what method of funding they ought to adopt,” Grissom said. “But I do want to want to say that I see K-TRACS as an essential tool in the fight against prescription drug abuse in this state.”