Rates of prescription drug misuse in the United States are alarmingly high. Twice as many Americans (6.8 million) currently misuse prescription drugs as those misusing cocaine, hallucinogens, heroin, and inhalants combined.
In Texas, prescription drug/painkiller misuse is reaching crisis proportions. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) organized a statewide summit in an effort to bring together senior policymakers, medical professionals, educators, local, state and federal law enforcement, and the community to seek solutions to this issue and to raise awareness.
The program included speakers, experts, and senior policymakers from a variety of fields, including law enforcement, education, and medical communities. The summit was designed to promote ongoing senior level discussion across agencies and industries. The overall goal of the statewide summit was to develop a statewide strategic plan to:
Based on feedback from attendees at the Texas Statewide Prescription Drug Misuse Prevention Summit, Texas Health and Human Services Commission staff will draft a statewide strategic plan. The goal is to develop the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) into a comprehensive prescription drug diversion and prevention strategy that includes education for healthcare providers, patients, and the public on prescription drug misuse.
HHSC will conduct regional summits to develop a community-based social marketing/public education plan to increase awareness of prescription drug misuse issues and the need for a coordinated approach, and promote increased use of PDMP data.