Increased Awareness Among Healthcare Providers Needed to Stem Prescription Drug Abuse

The cost associated with prescription opioid abuse continues to climb.

In order to fight the epidemic of prescription drug abuse running rampant across the United States, a recent study found increased healthcare provider awareness could be effective.

White men and rural residents have been found to carry the highest risk for prescription drug abuse.

The cost associated with opioid abuse was nearly $56 million in 2007, but according to reports this is thought to have increased.

"Our research suggests that a number of health care providers already have voluntarily begun to change their prescribing and dispensing practices in ways that may be reducing the supply of scheduled prescriptions in communities," said researchers.

The study was published in the Pain Physician Journal by researchers at Georgia State University.

Almost 6000 doctors, physician assistants, nurses, dentists, and pharmacists in Indiana were surveyed on their views and practices concerning addictive prescription drugs.

The results of the study showed that healthcare providers are concerned about drug abuse, but a minority of responders, mainly dentists, said they were relatively unconcerned.

"This research underscores the critical importance of engaging health care providers fully in public health efforts to reverse the course of the prescription drug epidemic," researchers said.