Mental illness can be debilitating and destructive not only for patients, but also their families and friends. The statistics themselves are jarring with the National Institute of Mental Health reporting 61.5 million Americans – one in four – have some form of mental illness. With such a large portion of the American population suffering why isn’t mental health more of a public priority? And specifically, why isn’t providing broad access to and awareness of treatments prioritized more?
We need a new generation of treatments for mental disorders. With current medications for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression, many people get better, but too few get well. And for many mental disorders, such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anorexia nervosa, and the core symptoms of autism, we lack effective medications altogether. The public health need is undeniable: neuropsychiatric disorders are the largest so
The American Medical Association (AMA) believes that modernized, interoperable Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs) have the potential to be a powerful clinical tool to help prevent prescription drug abuse, diversion, overdose and death. As states continue to consider how to best deploy PDMPs, the AMA has specific recommendations as part of our comprehensive efforts to help prevent prescription drug abuse and diversion.
Prescription drug monitoring programs offer tremendous potential – to either effectively curb abuse or to overburden prescribing doctors, making patients struggle to get the pain relief they legitimately need. The challenge lies in achieving the former without effecting the latter. To strengthen these programs, policymakers must design PDMPs with user-friendly, efficient methods for minimizing abuse.