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News from the Idaho Office of Drug Policy

The feds are gifting Idaho with new funds meant to help decrease the amount of substance abuse in our state. According to the AP, $1.5 million is headed our way over the next five years. The Office of Drug Control Policy announced the increase in funds on a grant that now totals $7.5 million. Details about how the money will be spent was not available on their website, but the director is sourced as saying the money will be spend to boost community-level substance abuse prevention strategies and for infrastructure improvement.

The focus on local efforts is thought to have the best chance at improving overall outcomes in substance abuse treatment and prevention. The additional funding will also allow more programs designed to interrupt the progress of addiction in young people, including efforts directed at alcohol and tobacco use, especially among minors.

Meanwhile, on July 1st, a program that allows Idaho pharmacies to share data with out-of-state entities takes effect. This comes with a new law – HB 439 – which authorized the program. Previously, our prescription monitoring program was more restricted, based partially on patient privacy issues. The law also allows the state Board of Pharmacy to issue reports on medication usage patterns directly to pharmacists and practitioners.

This new way of handling prescription data is meant to catch patients who may see multiple doctors for the same condition and get duplicate prescriptions. It also should make it easier to detect prescription fraud, especially when the illegal activity crosses state borders.

Data will not be provided directly to police, unless an active investigation with a warrant or subpoena is in play.

Generally, pharmacists and doctors will use the system to prevent double-dipping or fraud – cutting off the supply of prescription drugs before they can be diverted into the illegal market.

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