Using Data to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

Prescription drug abuse is a significant problem in America. One way states are attempting to address this problem is through prescription drug monitoring programs—government-run databases designed to track how doctors and pharmacists in a state prescribe and dispense controlled substances. The goal of these programs is to help identify who is prescribing and being prescribed controlled substances, and to take steps to combat abuse and misuse. Unfortunately, some state lawmakers have either dragged their feet on implementing these programs or have created policies that limit their effectiveness under the guise of protecting privacy, writes Daniel Castro in Government Technology.