Shatterproof is focused on common-sense addiction prevention that will invest in our youth and strengthen our communities. Here are our main areas of focus.
Prevention funding for schools and communities
90% of addictions begin in the teenage years. That makes prevention critically important. Yet federal funding for prevention programs has been cut by over 34% in the last 10 years. We need to re-invest in effective and evidence-based prevention programs for our youth.
Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
All healthcare providers, including school nurses, should be trained on SBIRT and it should be implemented across all medical settings. Just as your pediatrician shares information on the dangers of trampolines, they should communicate the risks of early substance use with parents and screen for use disorders. Early intervention, just like with any other disease, leads to better patient outcomes.
Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMPs)
Before writing a prescription, doctors should be fully informed about their patient’s prescribing history and current medications. That’s just common sense. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen more than 75% of the time. When used correctly and regularly, PDMPs are an effective tool to prevent opioid addiction and accidental overdoses. These systems allow doctors to check their patient’s prescription history before writing a new or refill prescription for a powerful drug that carries overdose risk, like an opioid, or for a potentially dangerous combination of medications, like an opioid co-prescribed with a benzodiazepine. And crucially, if a PDMP check reveals that a patient may be struggling with a substance use disorder, that should result in a referral to treatment—not a termination of care.
There’s good evidence that PDMPs work in states. In New York, in the first year that the state mandated the use of PDMPs in 2013, doctor shopping decreased by 75%, the number of opioid doses dispensed decreased by 10%, and the number of prescriptions for buprenorphine, a drug used to treat opioid addiction, increased by 15%. We could see results like this in every state if key PDMP requirements are put in place at a federal level. H.R. 6 included two major PDMP provisions necessary to increase usability standards:
- CONNECTIONS Act, which authorizes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) support and funding for states to improve their PDMPs and implement evidence-based prevention strategies
- Medicaid PARTNERSHIP Act, which will require Medicaid providers to check their state’s PDMP before prescribing a Schedule II controlled substance, like oxycodone, by October 1, 2021. The provision also establishes standards for a “qualified PDMP”, including that the prescribing history must be integrated into the provider’s clinical workflow to make it easier to review, and that the state must share PDMP data with contiguous states to prevent doctor shopping.
Shatterproof will continue to push for mandatory PDMP checks for all providers.
Beyond PDMPs, there are steps we can take to prevent unregulated, highly potent, and dangerous substances from entering America's illicit drug supply. To advance this policy area, Shatterproof will continue to advocate for The Fentanyl Sanctions Act (H.R. 2483/ S. 1044) to make the trafficking of fentanyl to the U.S. more difficult.