Idaho Summit on Prescription Drug Diversion Set for September 9 in Boise
Health care groups, law enforcement agencies partner to help stop flow of drugs to abusers
BOISE - U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson today announced that the Treasure Valley’s hospital community, the State of Idaho health professional licensing boards, private law firms, law enforcement agencies and other organizations are partnering to host the Idaho Summit on Prescription Drug Diversion on Wednesday, September 9, 2015, at Washington Group Plaza.
“Prescription drug abuse and prescription drug diversion have created a national public health and public safety crisis. Idaho is not immune,” said Olson. “Prescription drug addiction can lead directly to heroin use and addiction, and to accidental death. Prescription drug abuse is responsible for impaired driving and property crimes as addicts seek means to fuel their addiction. Fortunately, Idaho’s health care leaders and federal and local law enforcement are committed to educating providers and the community about the dangers associated with prescription drug diversion.”
Olson said that her office in the last few years has prosecuted an increasing number of defendants who have illegally obtained, diverted or sold prescription drugs. Nationally, a Center for Diseases Control analysis found that one in twenty people in the United States ages 12 and older used prescription painkillers non-medically in 2010. Prescription painkiller overdoses killed nearly 15,000 people in 2008, triple the number from 1999. Moreover, according to the 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, more than half of those 12 and over who used prescription painkillers non-medically for the first time obtained them from a family member or friend who had been prescribed the painkiller by a health care provider. The statistics are also alarming in Idaho. There were 456 drug-induced deaths in Idaho from 2007-2009. Of those, 262 involved narcotics, with 68 deaths from Hydrocodone and 43 from Oxycodone prescriptions alone.
The four-hour summit will involve presentations from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boise Police Department and U.S. Attorney’s Office on how prescriptions are diverted to street sales, the community impact, the law enforcement response, and criteria for prosecution of cases. Medical professionals and regulators will provide tools for health care providers and health care organizations to identify diversion and diversion risks. They will also discuss medical standards in Idaho for safely prescribing prescription drugs.
“This conference is intended to provide medical providers of all specialties with critical information on simple steps they can take every day to help stop the flow of these prescription drugs from would-be patients while at the same time learning how these government agencies work to protect our community,” said Terrence S. Jones, partner at Quane Jones McColl, PLLC, and one of the event organizers.
“Our objective is not only to slow the flow of diverted prescription drugs, but also to open a dialogue and promote understanding between the medical community and law enforcement about each other’s practices and concerns,” said Olson. “This is a community health care and public safety problem and I am pleased that so many members of Idaho’s law enforcement and health care community are committed to finding community solutions.”
The Summit sponsors are: the Idaho Boards of Medicine, Pharmacy, and Nursing, the Idaho Bureau of Occupational Licenses, the Idaho Office of Drug Policy, the Idaho Medical Association, Boise State University, Idaho State University, the Drug Enforcement Administration, C.N.A. Professional Insurance, West Valley Medical Center, St. Luke’s Health Systems, Independent Doctors of Idaho, the Boise City Police Department, St. Alphonsus Hospital, Garrett Richardson, PLLC, and Quane Jones McColl, PLLC. The Summit will be held from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Washington Group Plaza Main Auditorium. Interested providers can enroll online at http://usaoidtraining.org/idahodrugsummit.