Doug Peterson

Nebraska Attorney General

Battling Nebraska's Opioid Addiction

Prescription drug abuse in Nebraska is an extensive problem addressed by local law-enforcement officers, school systems, and medical care providers. Ranging from students raiding the family drug cabinet to a full-fledged addict manipulating the prescription of opiate drugs in order to feed an addiction or sell to the addicted, creating an epidemic in our state.

Unfortunately, Nebraska is one of only two states that currently does not have a mandatory prescription monitoring program (PDMP) in place. This environment makes it easier to doctor shop for pain med prescriptions or falsify a prescription.

The Unicameral is seriously examining changes in policy to combat prescription drug abuse. AG Peterson applauds State Senators Howard and Lindstrom for addressing Nebraska insufficiencies through Nebraska’s current legislation.

AG Peterson also commends the Nebraska Medical Association, Nebraska Pharmacists Association, Nebraska Hospital Association, Nebraska Dental Association, and the Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association for collectively addressing opioid addiction by educating their members and participating in the dialogue to develop legislative answers.

“Awareness and education are fundamental in identifying and addressing opioid addiction epidemic in our state,” said Peterson, “I appreciate that these organizations are actively addressing concerns through their associations.”

Yesterday, Peterson joined 35 Attorneys General[1] in sending a letter to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) urging adoption of the CDC’s Proposed 2016 Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. The Guidelines provide a foundation for practice in order to reduce deaths and injuries and clear guidance for prescribers to assess the appropriate balance between the potential harms and benefits of opioid use. The letter recognizes doctors will need to adapt the guidelines to meet the individual needs of their patients.

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[1] Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.