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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

ption medications of state citizens and may dispense it to individuals authorized under state law, such as physicians and law enforcement, for the purposes of their profession.

While other studies have shown PDMPs can help reduce drug abuse, the five states with the highest decline in misuse rates in the Quest Diagnostics Health Trends analysis share certain common characteristics. In addition to PDMPs, these include broadly implemented physician education programs and public awareness campaigns.

"Certain states have taken to heart the need to address prescription drug abuse, with proactive measures that involve physician and patient education as well as PDMPs and appropriate testing," said Dr. Kaufman. "The latest Quest Diagnostics Health Trends study gives early evidence that these efforts may be working."

Quest Diagnostics is a leader in prescription and workplace drug monitoring by diagnostic testing. The company's Drug Testing Index™ is widely considered a benchmark in national trends of drug use by American workers. The company extended its drug monitoring services with the addition of a new portfolio of prescription drug monitoring services for clinicians in 2010.

Study Strengths and Limitations 

The study's strengths are its size and national scope; use of an objective laboratory method, versus surveys or polls, which may be subject to user misrepresentation or error; confirmation of all positive drug screens by mass spectrometry, the most advanced drug testing method; and for consistency rate analysis the inclusion of patients under care by clinicians in a primary care or pain-management setting, but exclusion of those in drug rehabilitation or addiction treatment settings, where unusually high rates of drug misuse may be expected.

Study limitations include geographic disparities; inability to confirm drug misuse through access to medical records or clinical evaluation; and technical factors and pa
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SOURCE Quest Diagnostics
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