The DEA has an idea that they want the American public to evaluate: what if controlled substances were allowed to be prescribed electronically? In other words - make it legal for doctors to prescribe narcotics and other drugs online. Currently, this idea is going through a "public comment period" before any laws are put into place. Naturally as an addict in recovery, I have strong opinions about this topic - How does everyone else feel about it and why?
I don't see any problem with it. It's not like doctors are prescribing responsibly right now in person...and getting an appointment on many insurance plans can take months.
In the end run, the responsibility is on us. Whether the drugs are legal or not, addicts will get them. Wouldn't it be better NOT to have a 10 or twenty year prison record to cope with when you finally stop...on top of all the other difficulties addicts face?
I agree that if an addict wants them they will get them. Stuff like coke, heroin and meth aren't legal and they have those. Everything else is shifting to being done "electronically" why not get your rx's that way? Oh man...what would our great grandparents think? LOL
I was sick last week, and had to go to the doctor. They handed me this piece of paper with a bunch of questions on it. I believe I saw the DEA logo on it. It was questions and information about, my Doctor sending my prescriptions to the drug store electronically.They are doing this in many places already.The sticky issue is, will the DEA let them send prescriptions for narcotics electronically, to your drug store? I don't think the DEA has any intention of letting people buy controlled substances legally on line.
I need to clarify for reasons I wont specify. I do not have an online Dr. Nor have i ever used and online Dr. I know about them because I have heard about it, and seen some sites. I have only gotten my medication from my personal physician. It was not my intention to promote online Doctors, it was merely brought up for conversational purposes.
It will never happen. The DEA is only allowed to control the sale & distribution of "Controlled Substances". They worked too hard to shut down the illegal sites and I saw an interview with a DEA higher up saying controlled meds will never be sold online.
Having said that, a drug like Soma isn't a controlled med so the DEA has no say over it and it's legal to sell online. I know that's hard to believe but I saw the interview with my own 2 eyes.
They worked too hard to get them all off the internet (after kids were O.D.ing from online drugs), they will never allow them to come back on. The liability will be too high when bad docs get involved in writing those scripts.
I would be intersted in where you saw the info that they are "trying" this right now? If you don't mind.
I would love to know where to give my Public Coment. I would never allow those drugs nback online again. I almost lost my life to that garbage, I would hate to see someone else do the same!!
Thanks for making us aware of this issue.
ps-I mis-spoke above about them doing a "trial" of this, I meant the Public Comment period.
OK I'm back again, now that I see why they are proposing this, it makes sense. Error in reading RX's is quite high. This doesn't mean RX's will be sold online only the presrciption will be allowed to be sent online from doc to pahrmacy. There is always room for fraud but overall I hope the benefits outweigh the possible harm! Here is is below, take a read. Thanks for bringing this point up!!
DEA Issues Proposed Regulations to Allow Electronic Prescriptions for Controlled Substances
JUN 27 -- DEA today published proposed regulations that would provide physicians and other authorized prescribers with the option of issuing electronic prescriptions for controlled substances. These regulations would also permit pharmacies to receive, dispense, and archive these electronic prescriptions. The agency is seeking public comment on the proposed regulations. Any member of the public wishing to submit comments may do so by mail or electronically on or before September 25, 2008.
These regulations provide pharmacies, hospitals, and practitioners with the ability to use modern technology for controlled substance prescriptions while maintaining the closed system of controls on controlled substances dispensing; additionally, the proposed regulations would reduce paperwork for DEA registrants who prescribe or dispense controlled substances and have the potential to reduce prescription forgery.
The proposed regulations would also have the potential to reduce the number of prescription errors caused by illegible handwriting and misunderstood oral prescriptions. Moreover, they would help both pharmacies and hospitals to integrate prescription records into other medical records more directly, which would increase efficiency, and would reduce the amount of time patients spend waiting to have their prescriptions filled. Further, with these regulations DEA seeks to ensure that patients, prescribers, and pharmacists know that the person who wrote the prescription is who that person claims to be, and that the medication being dispensed by the pharmacist and received by the patient is the medication that was prescribed.
DEA Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Office of Diversion Control, Joseph Rannazzisi, said “The publication of this proposed rule is an important step towards making electronic prescribing an option for practitioners who prescribe controlled substances. Our goal is to put in place an electronic prescribing system that is efficient, medically beneficial to patients and prescribers, and provides security from hackers and others who might seek to engage in fraudulent prescribing activities. It is also essential that electronic prescribing of controlled substances take place in a manner that allows for reliable prescribing records so that the prescribing practitioner and the pharmacist who fills the prescription can remain accountable for their actions – just as they always have been when using paper prescriptions.”
“We are looking forward to receiving comments on the proposal and, after reviewing those comments, completing final regulations that will make electronic prescribing of controlled substances a reality,” Rannazzisi added.
From what I've read, only about 10% of legitimate physicians have been using this process and it takes alot of paperwork and red tape with the DEA to do so. Part of the proposition is to basically make it a more widespread practice, to have a defined set of requirements, plus less paperwork and red tape for the docs/DEA. Organizations like Medicare are booting this proposal stating it would be more efficient for seniors and others on their programs by cutting costs and hassles. On paper this idea sounds great, if it were to really work like that. I just hope the organizations pushing this fully understand the risks...
I love to hear other people's opinion on things like this, so thanks for posting!!
I just hope they have one hell of an anti hacking system in place. It would be a shame if the system was compromised by the bad guys. You know they are always looking for a way to get in.
The more I read it, the more I like the idea. Anything to lessen paperwork is great in my book . Plus I think we are moving towards better tracking of controlled meds. The doctors who write and the patients who fill for example those who "doctor shop", this data base someday may be able to crack down on that. What do you think?
Saw this on C-Span the other night--I'm rarely so desperate as to turn it on, and I can't say I'm all that excited when I do. Tedious. And in rerun, too, from June 24. I'm guessing their viewing audience at 4 plus a handful of insomniacs (if I read correctly, the video has garnered 12 viewers in 19 days). What do they expect? It's 1:42 long.
I think the findings of the meeting can be summarized pretty readily. Online pharm stores are proliferating, many are illegal, guy in State A gets a scrip from Dr. in State B, referred to pharm in State C--creating a DEA nightmare of supervision. Online hosts are protesting their innocence and competing to be the BEST at enforcement (which means simply closing the sites when and if complained of, and letting them move on).
Something like half the prescription drugs ordered and rec'd are seriously cut or, in some cases, don't contain even a trace of the ordered drug. Which is, imho, fine for folks who intend recreational use but not so great for people hoping the prescription keeps them alive. Makes it an easier job for the dealer; on the street, I imagine that would get him kneecapped, or worse.
Several of the congresspeople had five minutes each, which they spent trying to sneak unrelated messages to their constituents [like “See, children, what an important man I am on this subcommittee and in Washington?”]
Then witnesses testified, only one of whom made the case that legit buyers can do much better for price online--a dealer, perhaps? ;-) . The nice lady executive nee lawyer from godaddy was one of the lucky few given two spots-- the speaking spot and a question-answering spot—which she wisely used to notify the nation (that small segment of insomniacs watching C-span) of godaddy’s preeminence in the hosting world. I now have several new facts about godaddy to add to the fact that they are absolutely tireless in the production of spam. I understand, for example, that godaddy is the biggest of whatever it is—hosting site?—and that they are a stellar example of legality and integrity in the shutting down of illegal prescription drug websites, getting most of them (most of the ones they get at all) within 60 days. I’m thinking from now on, site owners will make a point of moving after 45 days, max.
She was impressive, I thought, in her ability to stay on message. No matter what they asked, she told them everything about godaddy. The high point, I think, was when she simpered at some congressman, solicited him to dock at her place, and added she wouldn’t charge him. Naturally he had to bluster some about not accepting it or whatever, which allowed her to announce to the nation and all that it was okay because “we charge only $9.99,” or words to that effect. Since I have a(n undeveloped) page on godaddy, I cynically edited in a remark about hidden charges which is best not repeated here.
Sorry I can't say more. Since I didn't know it would come up for discussion today, I paid little attention, and finally fell asleep. You can find it a video, though, through C-span or the congressional website, or AOL links to it.
All I can say besides that is, I heard "brick-and-mortar pharmacies" enough times to last me. I rather liked the expression, too.
Sav: the big chains are already putting the Mom-and-Pop businesses out to pasture as we speak. It's been going on for a long time. When you can buy in bulk, you will get things a whole lot cheaper. I don't think this will be the final nail in the coffin though. We have a few small chains here that do very well b/c they have built a great reputation with their customers. I know a little bit about this b/c my wife is a pharmacist and I worked in retail (drugstore) management several years. I'm not an advocate of prescribing controlled substances (esp CII) and narcotics via the Internet or phone or in any other non face-to-face method. I'd much prefer a patient go to see the doc one-on-one. Yes, there are a lot of bad docs out there, but there are also a lot of good docs.
Please don't take this the wrong way, but a couple of you said that drug addicts are going to get the drugs anyway. Hello!!!! Kids are going to drink anyway . . . so let's just give alcohol to them. Murderers are going to kill anyway so let's not do anything. Pedophiles are going to hurt children anyway, so let's offer kids up to them. I know it's extreme, but I’m just trying to illuminate my point. It's just a matter of time before one thing leads to another. It's like a Pandora's Box; once you open it, you may not be able to handle what comes out. Alcohol, most will agree, should have never been legalized in the first place. It is one of the costliest (both monetarily and socially) drugs in society. When we tried to make it illegal, it didn't work. I believe the same thing applies to marijuana, and other drugs (I know this will spur a great debate and even anger in some of you).
I hear so many parents tell me that their kids are going to drink any way, and that telling them not to isn't going to do any good. But why give up? Just b/c someone is going to abuse drugs, doesn't mean that we should give in and make it easier for them. Yes, people are going to abuse drugs. People are going to smoke pot, even if we decriminalize, or make it legal; that won't change. To simply fall back on the fact that people are going to do it anyway, doesn’t mean that we should just quit and not do what’s right.
Okay, let me stop b/c I’m sure some of you are going to have some choice words for me . . . be gentle.
Cattalina--From the part I saw of the House Judiciary Subcommittee's hearing on this, there are few requirements.already. Pharmacy must be DEA and physician must know you from Adam, but not all that well. Even with those met, the pharmacy is not necessarily the shipper, and that looks to me like a big possibility for a slip.
It will be interesting to see what happens with controlled substances. The pharmacy that ships to dependents/survivors under ChampVA has been trying for years to get the option of mailing controlled substances, without success so far. They have a special mandate with the federal govt., and I'd think if anyone could get dispensation to mail them, they would be among the first..
My biggest problem with all this is that things like this are an insidious way to erode the common freedoms we have and ability to look for alternatives when our government (which now controls or blocks a great deal of our freedoms) can't be their for us.
Did anyone ever consider that these online sites provide a service to a portion of the population that can't afford to see a doctor to get a prescription, that can't afford the prescriptions? That can't legally use government coverage because of their immigration status?
These online sites are no different than the "brick and mortar" equivalent shady businesses. Yes, you take your risks. But these people would argue;
"better to have to take the risk than to have NO options whatsoever."
I know, the first reaction to the criminal or shady side of enterprise is; "it's illegal, shut it down!" But these enterprises often are the last resort of these people.
remember too, a black market is also often used by those revolutionaries who fight for freedom...should we ever need the equivalent of a french resistance, it's good to know they're their. :)
On a similar issue, did you know that there's a huge action going on to shut down access to Usenet? Usenet, for those who don't know, is a leftover from the preinternet age. It's the last truly free form of expression on the internet.
They're using the excuse that these sites proliferate child porn. Which, is of course, true. BUT, that's a very small portion of what gets on the service. It's really a smokescreen to shut down access to hacked software. It would also make it much easier for our government to track individuals access is denied to americans. Then big brother will REALLY know everything you say and do online.
Yes, I'm aware that the "mom and pop" store is almost dead in American and has been for years. This would be just another potential nail in the coffin.
as to the rest...I've often said that I believe it is everyone's moral right to screw up their lives in any way they see fit. :)
By trying to coddle and protect people by removing potential sources of danger, all you do is make for a weak and lazy society.
The responsibility for drug prevention starts at HOME. Proper education and raising of our children. It also starts with the social responsibility of the citizens to watchdog government officials and prevent them from creating a social misery and malaise. Exactly the type we have today.
Our government and corporate enterprises have done everything they can to create a social environment in which addiction is a WAY OF LIFE. After all, a chemically dependent society is an easily controlled society.
Compare the medical industry to 25 years ago. We have for a variety of reasons, become a society of the quick fix, "pop a pill to deal with your problems".
THAT is the real cause of our country's drug addiction. Deal with that issue, and our children won't need to be protected from on line drug services or the pusher on the street.
I hear you. But, I don't believe that simply saying that drug prevention starts at home is the only solution (I know that's not what you're saying though). I agree 100% that drug prevention should be done at home, but there has to be more. Kids will be kids (i.e., kids are going to drink alcohol regardless of what you tell them right?), so I do everything I can to keep my kids away from drugs. But I cannot control everything that goes on. I cannot control what other parents do with their kids, and that is a huge problem.
Here is a scenario: My kid go to school and while there, he meets another kid who uses drugs (tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana). This other kid has grown up in a very relaxed home environment, where his parents are proponents of recreational drug use. This attitude rubs off on their child. While at school one day, my child happens to get paired with this kid for an assignment. They engage in a conversation about drugs. My kid (who is struggling with puberty and the problems that most tweens go through) starts to admire this kid b/c he is allowed to do so many cool things like hanging out late at night, or partying/drinking alcohol at home.
While my kid knows that this is not what we approve of (through the many conversations we've had), he still finds this other kid really cool. One day he decides to try just a little b/c he really thinks that it won't affect him.
This is not my story, however, it is a story I've heard from a lot of kids. I'd venture to say that there are plenty parents who feel they did everything they could to help keep their kids away from drugs, but were unsuccessful. One bad apple spoils the rest isn’t too far from true.
I just received an article about underage drinking and here is what part of the survey says:
"Survey reveals that 650,000 underage drinkers in the past month were given alcohol by their parents or guardians"
Again, it sounds great to say it should happen at home, but what should we do when it isn't happening at home? There was a time when it took a village to raise a child. I think that time is long gone.
Ugh......unless they put the online pharmacies out of business, this has already been going on for years. That's how me and my ex husband got our painkillers. We both had legit medical records, that with time I had to fudge some older than a year.
You can only get a script of 120 per month of painkillers and have to have identification, current med recs, & credit card, then shipped to you in 1 or 2 days. I did this for years, and spent thousands.
The bad: I know for a fact, that those so call doctors that consult you, aren't really doctors.
But I don't know if they're still in business. But that is how it was done.
"By trying to coddle and protect people by removing potential sources of danger, all you do is make for a weak and lazy society"
I just came from a rather unpleasant experience with recovering substance abusers who were still in the space so many have to pass through, where strangers are expected to know that "I'm a delicate flower; be very careful what you say around me."
I'm afraid that my experiences with the public impress on me that recovery is not going to hold up until the addict or alcoholic can walk down the street and survive being among people who are (to put it mildly) not therapeutic personnel.
wow those are quite some assumptions...it is clear that you like to "debate" and have much to say..Maybe peoples journals on the substance abuse forum is not the proper place to "debate"..and whatever your point was ,got lost and the author of that journal wasn't helped at all by anything you had to say...maybe the substance abuse forum isn't your forte'
Unfortunately the persons journal that you responded to is in a very delicate place right now.Theres a time and a place for everything and that was just simply not the place.I think it's very sad that you would choose to make light of someones struggle by resorting to sarcasm ['I'm a delicate flower,be very careful what you say around me."].Although you don't have to reply,I'm just curious to know how long have you been in recovery? I will keep you in my prayers.Peace.
did i just read you are almost 2000 days clean? that is awesome. i am so impressed. you desserve a party!
online prescriptions, thats where most of mine came from, i have major credit card debt. its insane! i do live in one of the states (WV) where the attorney general has put a stop to narcotics coming into the state from the internet companies. too bad tramadol wasn't one of those narcotics.
Personally, this is why I advocate for legalized drugs. At the very least, it puts the parents in a position of being able to deal with drug issues without having to either;
A: Break the law.
B: Have their child arrested
This seemed quite obvious to many in the early days of widespread mj use. We had some concern, in fact, that so many people were being "criminalized" by the formulation of the law that the whole system might tilt and government/law enforcement become the "outsider."
Although it hasn't come out quite that badly, one can still argue that legalization is necessary to get any kind of societal handle on the thing. The clandestine subculture is quite large enough, and of necessity engaged in enough coordinated anti-social behavior, to have destabilized at least the cities.
There was in Britain, between the wars, a system whereby an addict (mostly morphine then) could apply for a license and obtain the drugs from a pharmacy. What they accomplished, effectively, was to cut out the middle man, which here is organized crime. It was a special situation, true--and it would be much harder to implement now that organized crime is well entrenched--but that's not to say it couldn't be adapted in some form to our benefit.
Okay, they door has been opened again. Someone please eplain to me why/how you think decriminalizing or making MJ legal will help. I have my opinions and reasons, but I'd like to hear what you have to say.
Well, lets start with the arguments for keeping drugs illegal;
1: Money - There's large sums of money tied up in the illegal drug trade. Government profits off of it enormously. The seizures from drug related crimes, either cash or product (cars, houses,, etc...) is a huge source of free income. Plus, there's a heady profit to be made in the criminal justice system. A great deal of legal income comes from drug related crimes.
Without illegal drugs, you'd put alot of lawyers out of business. This gets into;
2: Control: Realistically, I'd guess that about 75% of the population has broken the drug laws at some point in their life, maybe higher (I'm including such situations as that nervous bride who's friend gives her a valium from her prescription the day of the wedding). That means the majority of the population is on the wrong side of the law. But let's just deal with the percentage that are "habitual users" even.
These are folks who smoke marijuana, over use their prescriptions, buy street drugs, etc... by keeping drugs illegal, this gives the government a great deal of control over the populace.
Most citizens can be picked up, finger printed, and put on record at any time the police decide to enforce the law. This gives government an effective form of record keeping for the population, thus keeping an eye on them. Without illegal drugs, big brother would have a MUCH harder time of controlling the population.
After all, marijuana arrests...did you know that here in NYC, 75% of all marijuana arrests are in poor ethnic neighborhoods? (this is a relatively consistent statistic nationwide) These people aren't using marijuana more than ,middle or upper class folks, they're just being TARGETED more. Why? For control. We have to control that "poor, ethnic class", after all.
3: Medical care:
Making drugs legal would mean accepting the fact that addiction is a problem in our society. Which would mean offering effective treatment. It would mean addicts would be treated as citizens in need of aid and not like criminals. And as someone who's had about 50 ER room visits over drug issues, trust me, you DO get treated differently.
Right now the drug treatment industry is a HUGE for profit organization. By offering effective treatment, you put a lot of people out of work.
Also, you're no longer able to funnel addicts into methadone treatment programs, which is an industry with a growth rate of above 300% per year. That's a lot of lost money and jobs... and we can't have that!
4: "Us vs. Them"
One of the most effective ways to control a society is by creating an "us vs. them" mentality. It takes away the public's eye from the real issues and failures of government. blame everything on addicts! Blame it on those pesky immigrants!
By keeping drugs illegal, government is able to propagate this attitude, and distract us from our real problems. After all, if people started focusing on the real issues, they might ask those in power to *shudder* actually do something about it!
Politics! Politics! Politics! Illegal drugs is a huge, SEXY safe issue. Any politician can garner positive votes by getting in front of a microphone, pounding a podium, and saying "Say no to drugs! Drugs are Bad!"
This works especially well if they hire a woman in the crowd to yell;
"Won't someone think of the children?!?!"
as he finishes. The politician can then swoop down and kiss the babe held in her arms, thus detracting attention from that investigation into his embezzlement charges.
Actually, I'm repeating myself here. This really comes under "control of the masses" again.
Whoops, I am now getting the "Evil Eye" from my wife who wants to go to bed (I'm keeping her up). So unless someone beats me to it... I'll continue tomorrow. :)
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