Samantha’s business might shut down for good if the proposed bill HR 5219 becomes the Opioid Prescription Verification Act (OPVA). The bill, introduced by Representative Rodney Davis, would make it mandatory for people in Illinois to show a government issued valid identity proof at the time of purchasing prescription opioids from a pharmacy. The bill would hurt Samantha, as she illegally sold opioid pain relievers prescribed to her. She had been using prescription opioids since she injured her leg in a car crash two years ago. In a year’s time, she was addicted to the prescriptions and had stopped going to work as well. She started selling the opioids to earn money and sustain her own addiction, now to heroin.
Drawing a parallel between the OPVA and the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act (CMEA) of 2005 and calling the bill “common sense”, Rep. Davis compared the need to show ID proofs while buying opioid medication to the measures undertaken to control the meth epidemic in 2005. The CMEA banned the over-the-counter sale of cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, which was commonly used to make meth.
Valid photo ID needed to fill prescriptions
In Illinois, it is mandatory for pharmacists to maintain a database of the details of opioid medications that they vend. This record is kept in a statewide database which helps keep a track of the opioid prescriptions being dispensed. However, in the current tracking system the database does not identify or keep a track of the individuals buying or picking up the opioids. With the OPVA in place, it would be necessary for a person buying opioids to present a valid photo ID to the pharmacist, who can then enter the name and address of those buying the opioids into the statewide databank. “If you’re picking up an opioid prescription, which we know is a highly addictive drug that is becoming a huge problem in our country, you should have to show an ID,” said Rep Davis.
The measure is aimed at ensuring that the filled opioid prescriptions are used by patients genuinely in need. The database can help law enforcement officials identify people who fraudulently try to procure prescriptive opioids from pharmacies or those who obtain more opioids than they require; either to illegally sell them further or abuse the drug themselves. The purpose of HR 5219 is to deter pharmacy shopping and also help law enforcement agencies to “track bad actors”.
With the number of opioid overdoses and related deaths increasing every year, the issue has become a public health crisis. Opioid overdoses have seen a 30 percent increase from 2016 to 2017. Killing more than 42,000 people in 2016 alone, the opioid epidemic now takes almost five times more lives than what it did in 1999.
Treating opioid addiction
The United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been strategizing and working on policies to resolve the opioid crisis and containing the epidemic. It has been trying to discover innovative yet effective ways to prevent misuse of opioids and treat addiction to opioids and overdose.
Despite the various policies set in place for the awareness and treatment of opioid overdoses, the country is still struggling to detoxify itself from the menace of prescription opioids. Addiction to opioids has devastating effects on not just the person concerned but also people around him or her, including the society as a whole.
Therefore, if you or your loved ones is suffering from an addiction to opioids or any other substance, seek immediate medical help from the Rapid Detox Helpline. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number 866-403-5591 to know about credible detox treatment centers near you. You can also chat online with our experts to find information about detox treatment programs tailored to suit your requirements.