Members of the Wauwatosa Police Department's Community Support Division, with backup provided by the folks at WauwatosaNow.com, are now blogging. We will be providing you with an ongoing series of crime prevention tips, any current crime trends as well as pertinent news and notes as it relates to your Police Department.
This is the third and final series of blogs addressing the abuse of prescription medications for non-medicinal purposes. This information comes to us courtesy of Officer Jason Weber who is the Community Liaison for the Town of Menasha PD and also sits on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Crime Prevention Practitioners Association (WCPPA / www.wicrimeprevention.com).
Community wide effort
We must work together to develop and implement effective strategies to combat prescription drug abuse in Wisconsin. Assembly Bill 227, is working its way through the Wisconsin Capitol. This bill would create a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program which will curb the practice of “doctor shopping” (where patients get multiple prescriptions from different doctors.
Health care professionals such as doctors and pharmacists also play a critical role in this prevention effort. Doctors can begin asking their patients about their current prescription and over the counter use, and reason for use. Doctors should also be aware of other potential signs of abuse, such as rapid increases in the amount of medication their patient needs, or refill requests before the refill date. Pharmacists also play a role in the front line of defense in recognizing prescription drug abuse, as it is their responsibilty to provide clear information on how to take the medications appropiately; however in addition to that, they should also be making their customers aware of the potential abuse and crimes associated with certain pharmaceuticals at that consultation.
This will truly require a “team” effort to combat this problem. A good team will have all sorts of players: parents, youth, concerned community members, schools staff, business owners, pharmacists, law enforcement officers, prevention workers, health care professionals and more. All of us play a critical role in this prevention campaign and so can you.