In recent years, prescription drug crime has been on the rise in Maryland and across the country. In fact, some of the most common forms of drug abuse are related to prescription drugs: Often, people begin to take the drug as part of a legitimate treatment for an injury, and then become addicted. Once they are addicted, people begin to make bad choices, acquiring the drug illegally or seeking to obtain a prescription under false pretenses.
This behavior often leads to a conviction of drug charges, which can carry very serious punishments even for first-time offenders.
The common nature of prescription drugs — they are used by a large number of people at some time in their lives — means that it’s relatively easy for some of those drugs to fall into the wrong hands. The Food and Drug Administration is seeking to correct this by proposing new rules for doctors and patients.
The FDA is planning to reclassify some prescription drugs to ensure tighter restrictions on their use. Under the new classifications, painkillers that contain hydrocodone would be subject to new regulations.
Hydrocodone is the most commonly used proscription drug in America. It is found in popular painkillers such as Vicodin.
Under the new reclassification, doctors would only be able to proscribe hydrocodone in 90-day intervals. Refills would not be allowed except with another doctor visit.
The FDA says it hopes that the reclassification would restrict the total amount of drugs that ends up on the street, but still allow legitimate users to get the prescription drugs they need. The new proposal will be submitted in December of this year.
WJZ-TV, “FDA Calls For Tighter Rules For Prescription Drug Use” Linh Bui, Oct. 26, 2013