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Enhancing Alabama's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Award Information

Award #
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2008, $400,000)

Since the beginning of FY 2002, Congress has appropriated funding to the U.S. Department of Justice to support the Harold Rogers Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. Prescription drug monitoring programs enhance the capacity of regulatory and law enforcement agencies to collect and analyze controlled substance prescription data through a centralized database administered by an authorized state agency. These programs are designed to help prevent and detect the diversion and abuse of pharmaceutical controlled substances, particularly at the retail level where no other automated information collection system exists.

States that have implemented prescription drug monitoring programs have the capability of collecting and analyzing prescription data much more efficiently than states without such programs where the collection of prescription information requires the manual review of pharmacy files which is a very time consuming and invasive process. The increased efficiency of prescription drug monitoring programs allows for the early detection of abuse trends and possible sources of diversion.

Research by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) indicates that in 2006 an estimated 20.4 million Americans were illicit drug users. According to the Government Accounting Office, drug diversion is channeling licit drugs for illegal purposes at a cost to society in terms of addiction, overdose, death, and related criminal activity. The problem is exacerbated due to a lack of information or education on drug diversion and related problems readily available to the public, medical professions, or business community.

ADPH will use grant funds to educate Alabamians on illegal and appropriate uses of controlled substances. Additionally, funds will be used to reduce prescription drug diversion and abuse in Alabama while addressing methods of sharing information across state lines. Specific objectives include:

1) Reducing the number of illegal prescriptions predicated on drug addiction.

2) Reducing the time and effort required by law enforcement and regulatory investigators exploring leads and assessing the merits of possible drug diversion cases.

3) Educating society regarding the existence and extent of diversion, diversion scams, and commonly used drugs that are diverted by individuals.

4) Promoting appropriate uses of controlled prescription drugs.


Date Created: August 19, 2008