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Think Out Loud

Tracking Your Prescriptions

Pete Springer/OPB

Prescription drug abuse — especially among young people — shows no signs of letting up. One of the approaches being tried to reverse this trend is a tracking system for certain prescription drugs. Oregon is a relative late-comer to this approach — 48 states have passed some type of monitoring system.

Proponents say the system is one tool to allow doctors to have a conversation with their patients and improve their treatment — and in many states, it’s a way for law enforcement to identify abusers. Civil liberties advocates have raised a number of concerns, including the possibility of confused identities, the security of the data, who will be allowed to access patient information.

Pain medication is one way to deal with pain, but increasingly providers are encouraging their patients to manage their pain using other techniques — like meditation, massage and talk therapy.

What questions do you have about Oregon’s new prescription drug tracking program? Do you have experience with a program like this in another state? Have you ever tried to get a prescription that you didn’t need? Do you have chronic pain — how do you deal with it?

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OPB | Broadcast: July 6, 2011