prescription drugs

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse – St. Louis is airing an anti-heroin ad (still shot shown) locally during the Super Bowl this Sunday.
Courtesy National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse – St. Louis Area

Among the much-anticipated Super Bowl commercials airing Sunday will be an anti-heroin ad created by a St. Louis area non-profit and a local ad agency.

The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse–St. Louis Area created the ad with the help of Schupp Consulting and local director Scott Ferguson to bring attention the region's growing heroin problem.

(via Flickr/e-MagineArt.com)

Drugs, privacy, prison. Those three things are linked to the debate over prescription drug databases -- and Missouri is the only state in the U.S. without one.

Flickr/e-MagineArt.com

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Saturday is sponsoring a nationwide prescription drug take-back event.

Between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., anyone can turn in their expired or unwanted medications at thousands of police stations, pharmacies, and other sites across the country, including here in St. Louis.

WBEZ/Luis Perea

St. Louis has a heroin problem. And the problem is growing, especially among suburban youth.

As previously reported by St. Louis Public Radio, the number of deaths in Missouri caused by heroin has doubled in recent years, with 90 percent of those deaths occurring in St. Louis.

(Courtesy Center for Investigative Reporting)

An investigation by the Center for Investigative Reporting has found that the Department of Veterans Affairs has increased the number of prescriptions for opiates by about 270 percent nationwide in the past twelve years.

While the number of prescriptions varies widely in different regions of the country, St. Louis reflects the national average with an approximate 300 percent increase, said the author of the article, Aaron Glantz.

Flickr/Stephen Cummings

An abundance of prescription medication goes unused or is expired and is at risk of being abused.

This Saturday, April 27, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) holds the sixth annual National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

Brent Nagel

David Sheff is a journalist and New York Times best-selling author. 

In 2008, he wrote a memoir, Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction, about how his family dealt with his son‘s methamphetamine addiction.

In a new book, Sheff argues that addicts suffer from an illness and are not simply victims of their own bad choices.  “We must acknowledge addiction is an illness…and not just bad behavior…because we punish bad behavior…we treat illness,” Sheff writes.

(via Flickr/CarbonNYC)

Two bills that would create a prescription drug monitoring program in Missouri received a hearing Thursday before a State Senate committee.

One of the bills, though, is structured in a way that’s designed to block the proposal from ever becoming reality.  Physician and State Senator Rob Schaaf (R, St. Joseph) is an outspoken critic of prescription drug monitoring.  He says it would violate citizens’ privacy rights.

“But I have agreed to carry (Senate Bill 146), given that it goes to a vote of the people, and that nothing will be construed to require a pharmacist or prescriber to obtain information about a patient from the database,” Schaaf told the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs and Health.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain)

The nation’s drug czar was in Fenton Wednesday highlighting the fact that Missouri does not have a prescription drug monitoring program.

It’s the only state in the US without a tracking system or that hasn’t passed legislation to create one.

National Drug Control Policy director Gil Kerlikowske says it’s a good way to identify patients who are "doctor shopping."

Flickr

The Drug Enforcement Administration's recent effort to collect unused prescription drugs has netted nearly 47,000 pounds in part of the Midwest.

The DEA's St. Louis office said Friday that the six states covered by the office saw 46,686 pounds of medication collected on April 28, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Nationwide, more than a half-million pounds of unwanted or expired medications were turned in for disposal.

The St. Louis DEA says it collected:

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