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Decline in Prescription Drug Misuse More than Twice as High in States with Broad Drug Abuse Prevention Programs, New Quest Diagnostics Health Trends Study Finds
Date:7/16/2014

r had the lowest rate of inappropriate drug use, at 44%, according to test results.
  • Morphine screening is an unreliable surrogate for the detection of heroin abuse in drug testing. One in 15 patients, or 6.6%, positive for the heroin metabolite 6-monoacetylmorphine tested negative for morphine. In the U.S., the number of heroin users increased nearly 80% between 2007 and 2012, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

    "Given the growing trend of heroin abuse, clinicians should reconsider long-standing conventional wisdom that morphine testing can reliably reveal heroin abuse," said Dr. McClure.

  • A small percentage of patients tamper with their test specimens to mask drug misuse from their physicians. The specimens of nearly 22,000 patients in the study, or 1.6% of those analyzed, showed evidence of specimen tampering. Patients who tested positive for misusing more than one drug were four times more likely to show evidence of specimen tampering than other patient populations.
  • "Prescription drug medications such as opioids and amphetamines can be enormously effective therapies, and for many people a source of better health outcomes, such as reduced pain," said Harvey W. Kaufman, M.D., a study investigator and senior medical director, Quest Diagnostics. "We need to find a balance between ensuring patients get the medications they need and preventing them from developing addiction and other health problems. Greater public education of the dangers of inappropriate prescription drug use is critical in this effort."

    States take lead in addressing prescription drug abuse

    Forty-nine states operate or have pending legislation authorizing prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP). These programs feature electronic databases that collect prescribing and dispensing information on prescri
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    SOURCE Quest Diagnostics
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