In recent years, prescription drug crime has been on the rise in Maryland
and across the country. In fact, some of the most common forms of drug
abuse are related to prescription drugs: Often, people begin to take the
drug as part of a legitimate treatment for an injury, and then become
addicted. Once they are addicted, people begin to make bad choices, acquiring
the drug illegally or seeking to obtain a prescription under false pretenses.
This behavior often leads to a conviction of
drug charges, which can carry very serious punishments even for first-time offenders.
The common nature of prescription drugs — they are used by a large
number of people at some time in their lives — means that it’s
relatively easy for some of those drugs to fall into the wrong hands.
The Food and Drug Administration is seeking to correct this by proposing
new rules for doctors and patients.
The FDA is planning to reclassify some prescription drugs to ensure tighter
restrictions on their use. Under the new classifications, painkillers
that contain hydrocodone would be subject to new regulations.
Hydrocodone is the most commonly used prescription drug in America. It
is found in popular painkillers such as Vicodin.
Under the new reclassification, doctors would only be able to prescribe
hydrocodone in 90-day intervals. Refills would not be allowed except with
another doctor visit.
The FDA says it hopes that the reclassification would restrict the total
amount of drugs that ends up on the street, but still allow legitimate
users to get the prescription drugs they need. The new proposal will be
submitted in December of this year.
WJZ-TV, “FDA Calls For Tighter Rules For Prescription Drug Use” Linh Bui, Oct. 26, 2013