Rob Standridge – Fight Against Prescription Drug Addiction

Rob Standridge – Fight Against Prescription Drug Addiction


ROB MCCLENDON: WELL
PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE IS
OKLAHOMA’S FASTEST GROWING DRUG PROBLEM ACCORDING
TO THE STATE’S MENTAL
HEALTH COMMISSIONER. THIS SPRING THE
LEGISLATURE APPROVED AN
ADDITIONAL ONE POINT TWO MILLION DOLLARS FOR DRUG
AND TREATMENT PROGRAMS
THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH. EVEN SO, LAWMAKERS AGREE
THE MONEY IS A SMALL
AMOUNT TO FIGHT SUCH A LARGE PROBLEM. EARLIER I SAT DOWN WITH
OKLAHOMA SENATOR ROB
STANDRIDGE WHO’S BEEN ON THE FOREFRONT
IN THE FIGHT AGAINST
PRESCRIPTION ADDICTION. SENATOR STANDRIDGE,
THANK YOU SO MUCH
FOR BEING HERE. WELL YOU DEFINITELY HAVE
A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE AS
BOTH A PHARMACIST AND A LAWMAKER. IF YOU WILL, KIND OF SET
THE STAGE FOR US ON WHERE
WE ARE RIGHT NOW WITH PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE. ROB STANDRIDGE:
PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE
IS, AS YOU’RE PROBABLY AWARE, IS A SIGNIFICANT
PROBLEM IN ALL STATES. BUT IN OKLAHOMA,
PARTICULARLY, IT SEEMS
LIKE WE’RE AT THE TOP OF THAT PROBLEM. AND I THINK THAT GIVES
THE BURDEN TO US TO BE
AGGRESSIVE IN ATTACKING THE PROBLEM AND SEEING
WHAT WAYS WE CAN HELP. BOTH LEGISLATIVELY AND IN
DISCUSSIONS LIKE THIS; HOW
CAN WE STARTL, YOU KNOW TACKLING THIS PROBLEM
AND MAKING OKLAHOMA
NOT THE LEADER IN THIS. AND HOPEFULLY WHAT WE CAN
DO, HERE, MAYBE OTHER
STATES MIGHT FOLLOW AND FIND WAYS TO IMPROVE
THEIR PROBLEM AS WELL. ROB: FROM YOUR PERSPECTIVE
ARE THERE CERTAIN THINGS
THAT ARE CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROBLEMS THAT WE HAVE? STANDRIDGE: YEAH, I THINK,
I THINK AS WE WERE TALKING
BEFORE OFF CAMERA, WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE AUSTIN BOX
STORY FOR INSTANCE WHICH
IS CERTAINLY A TRAGIC STORY. ROB: YEAH, THE YOUNG
OU FOOTBALL PLAYER THAT
DIED OF A PRESCRIPTION OVERDOSE. STANDRIDGE: RIGHT AND HIS
FAMILY NOW IS KIND OF
BEING VOCAL ABOUT THIS AND TRYING TO EDUCATE OTHERS
ON WHAT CAN HAPPEN. AND I THINK YOU LOOK AT
THAT AND YOU THINK, WELL
ONE, PRESCRIPTION DRUGS ARE LOOKED AT
AS BEING SAFE. AND I THINK PROBABLY MR
BOX HAVING PAIN AND OTHER
ISSUES MAYBE THAT HE WAS USING THESE DRUGS FOR
THOUGHT, WELL THESE ARE
OBVIOUSLY SAFE BECAUSE THEY ARE PRESCRIPTION,
EVEN THOUGH HE DIDN’T HAVE
PRESCRIPTION FOR THEM, THEY ARE PRESCRIPTION
SO YOU KIND OF
THINK THEY’RE SAFE. THAT’S, I THINK,
WRONG THINKING. THEY’RE JUST AS
DANGEROUS OR MORE SO
THAN ILLICIT DRUGS. AND THEN THE OTHER ONE IS
THAT WE SO EASILY TODAY,
IN TODAY’S SOCIETY, TREAT EVERYTHING WITH DRUGS, AND
SO WHEN YOU HAVE, WHEN
YOU’RE DOWN OR YOU HAVE SOME PAIN, I MEAN THAT’S
SOMETIMES THE FIRST THING
WE GO INSTEAD OF DEALING WITH IT IN OTHER WAYS. ROB: NOW YOU WROTE
LEGISLATION IN THIS LAST
SESSION THAT HAS NOW BEEN SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE
GOVERNOR, WHAT WILL
HOUSE BILL 1419 DO? STANDRIDGE: HOUSE BILL
1419, SO, SO OVER THE
YEARS WE’VE COLLECTED ALL THIS DATA ABOUT THESE
CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES AND
HOW PATIENTS USE THEM OR ABUSE THEM. AND SO WE’VE NEVER REALLY
INVOLVED THE PHYSICIANS IN
THIS CONVERSATION OR THIS DIALOGUE ABOUT THIS USE. NOW THEY CAN LOGON TO THE
INTERNET AND LOGIN TO A
PATIENT, BUT IN A BUSY DAY OF A PRACTICE THEIR
TIME IS OFTEN NOT
AVAILABLE FOR THAT. SO WHAT WE DID WITH 1419
IS ALLOW THE BUREAU OF
NARCOTICS TO ACTUALLY FLAG A PATIENT IN THE
PHYSICIAN’S ELECTRONIC
MEDICAL RECORDS SYSTEM THAT THEY POTENTIALLY
ARE A DOCTOR SHOPPER. AND SO HERE’S AN ICON THAT
MIGHT APPEAR IN THE RIGHT
SCREEN LIKE AN EXCLAMATION POINT OR, YOU KNOW, A
BLINKING LIGHT OF SOME
TYPE THAT SAYS HEY, JANE DOE HERE EXHIBITS, YOU
KNOW, THE THINGS THAT WE
THINK THAT SHE’S DOCTOR SHOPPING. MAYBE SHE’S WENT TO FIVE
DIFFERENT DOCTORS IN THE
LAST FIVE DAYS FOR A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE
SO WE, WE WONDER IF. SO, SO THE PHYSICIAN NOW,
HE IS NOT COMPELLED TO DO
ANYTHING, BUT HE OR SHE COULD USE THAT INFORMATION
TO EITHER PRESCRIBE
SOMETHING NON-CONTROLLED OR MAYBE REFUSE TO
SEE THE PATIENT. SO IT, IT INVOLVES THEM IN
THE DISUSSION WITHOUT ANY
COMPULSION SO I THINK IT ALLOWS THAT DATA TO BE
USED IN, BUT STILL NOT
HINDER THEIR MEDICAL PRACTICE IN THE DECISIONS
THEY WANT TO MAKE. ROB: WHAT IS THE
ROLE THAT PHARMACISTS
PLAY IN ALL THIS? STANDRIDGE: WELL IN MY
OPINION AS A PHARMACIST, I
THINK WE ARE ASKED TO PLAY TOO MUCH. I THINK WE ARE RESPONSIBLE
TO LOOK AT THOSE PATIENTS
AND MAKE JUDGEMENT CALLS ON WHAT WE SEE BUT THERE’S
NO WAY A PHARMACIST CAN BE
EXPECTED TO KNOW THE FULL SCOPE OF WHAT
A PATIENT DOES. TYPICALLY WHEN THEY DOCTOR
SHOP, THEY PHARMACY SHOP;
AND SO, WHEN YOU ASK A PHARMACIST TO BECOME A
POLICE OFFICER, I THINK
YOU’RE GOING ABOUT IT THE WRONG WAY. I THINK WE CAN USE
THIS DATA THAT WE’RE
COLLECTING, WHICH THE PHARMACISTS ARE
CONTRIBUTING, I THINK
THAT’S A VALUE, VALUABLE ROLE THAT THEY CAN PLAY,
IS THEIR SYSTEMS CAN PUSH
ALL THIS DATA TO THE NARCOTICS PEOPLE. BUT THEY, I THINK, NEED TO
TAKE THE NEXT STEP AND TO
FIND THE PEOPLE THAT ARE BREAKING THE LAW. PHARMACISTS AREN’T
BREAKING THE LAW,
PHYSICIANS AREN’T BREAKING THE LAW TYPICALLY IN THESE
DRUG ABUSE SCENARIOS. PATIENTS ARE BREAKING
THE LAW BY LYING TO
PHYSICIANS, LYING TO PHARMACISTS, GOING TO MANY
TO GET ALL THESE DRUGS. I MEAN THAT’S, I THINK WE
OVER FOCUS SOMETIMES ON
THE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS. I, I, I WANT TO INVOLVE
THEM, BUT I DON’T WANT TO
HINDER THEIR PRACTICE. ROB: YOU KNOW, AND WE TALK
ABOUT BREAKING THE LAW AND
SOMETIMES IT SEEMS A LITTLE INOCUOUS IN THAT
IT’S JUST AFFECTING THE
PEOPLE THAT ARE ABUSING THE DRUGS, BUT THERE ARE
MORE AND MORE REPORTS OF
BREAK-INS IN PHARMACIES AND EVEN ARMED ROBBERIES,
MAKING THIS ALMOST A
VIOLENT PROFESSION, OR AT LEAST, THE FEAR
OF VIOLENCE IN
THIS PROFESSION. STANDRIDGE: YEAH, IT IS. AND YOU, WE’VE BEEN
VICTIMS OURSELVES, MY WIFE
IS A PHARMACIST AS WELL AND SO, YEAH, WE. WE NEED TO FIGURE OUT HOW
WE CAN GET A HANDLE ON IT
BECAUSE IT IS BECOMING THAT WAY, IN THAT,
YOU KNOW, PHARMACIES
HAVE TO FEAR FOR THIS. BEFORE IT WAS THE FEAR OF
THEM COMING IN AND MAYBE
STEALING A FEW DRUGS AND MONEY PRIMARILY. NOW YOU HAVE THESE GUYS
THAT MAY ALREADY BE STRUNG
OUT ON SOME KIND OF DRUGS AND THEY’RE JUST
AFTER MORE DRUGS. AND I THINK
THAT’S A PROBLEM. I THINK IT’S A LAW
ENFORCEMENT PROBLEM. I THINK PHARMACISTS
CAN HELP, BUT SOMEHOW WE
HAVE GOT TO GET IT UNDER CONTROL. BUT, BUT IT IS, IT IS
A PROBLEM AND IT KINDA
MAKES YOU NERVOUS. ROB: DO YOU SEE ANY
CORRELATION BETWEEN
PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE AND THEN STREET-DRUG ABUSE
THAT WE, WE KNOW IS ALSO
FAIRLY PREDOMINANT IN THE STATE? STANDRIDGE: ABSOLUTELY, I
THINK , I THINK THERE’S
DEFINITELY CORRELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO; IN
FACT, I WATCH IN VIDEOS
ONLINE AND STUFF ABOUT PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE. I HEAR A LOT OF THE
ADDICTS TALK ABOUT HOW
HEROIN AND OXYCODONE ARE, THEY KIND OF PUT THOSE
IN THE SAME BOAT. SO THEY KIND OF MENTALLY
THINK ABOUT, WELL, I’D
EITHER RATHER HAVE THE PRESCRIPTION DURG
OR RATHER HAVE
THE ILLICIT DRUG. ONE THING I’VE HEARD
PRETTY COMMON WHICH GOES
ALONG WITH MY COMENTS ABOUT AUSTIN BOX A MINUTE
AGO, SOMETHING I HEAR
QUITE OFTEN IS, WELL, THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG
OXYCODONE IS MUCH BETTER
THAN HEROIN BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE TO GO DOWN TO
THE STREET CORNER AND BUY
IT, YOU KNOW IN A BACKDOOR DEAL AND MAYBE GET SHOT IN
THE PROCESS, I JUST TAKE
IT FROM A FRIEND OR STEAL IT OUT OF SOMEBODY’S
MEDICINE CABINET OR JUST
GO DOCTOR SHOPPING. SO, THEY THINK OF IT AS
A MUCH SAFER, CLEANER. AND SO IT’S GOT
THAT MINDSET THAT IT’S A
BETTER DRUG ABUSE THAN AN ILLICIT. BUT ILLICIT NOT’S UNDER
CONTROL EITHER, SO. SO THERE ARE
BOTH PROBLEMS. ROB: I WAS ALMOST SHOCKED
TO SEE, AND IT WAS THE CDC
NUMBER THAT SAID THAT ONE IN TWELVE OKLAHOMANS WOULD
USE A PRESCRIPTION DRUG
FOR A NON-MEDICAL USE; BASICALLY, ILLEGALLY. STANDRIDGE: WELL I’VE
HEARD THESE STATS TOO;
I’VE ALSO HEARD STATS LIKE, A MORE COMMON STAT
I’VE HEARD A FEW TIMES, I
THINK I’VE HEARD ON CNN NOT TOO LONG AGO, WAS ONE
OUT OF TWENTY IS USING A
DRUG NOT THE WAY IT’S PRESCRIBED OR NOT
THE APPROPIATE WAY. I THINK, I DON’T KNOW,
I’D HATE TO THINK THAT
IT’S ONE IN TWELVE. BUT, BUT I DON’T KNOW. I THINK MAYBE A LOT OF
THAT STAT IS JUST SOMEBODY
THAT’S NOT A DRUG ADDICT, BUT THEY’RE
NOT USING IT THE WAY
THEY’RE SUPPOSE TOO. SO, YOU KNOW, LIKE IF
YOU’VE GOT MAYBE SOME
MEDICINE YOU THINK MIGHT HELP ME, I MEAN, THAT’S
NOT USING IT
APPROPRIATELY, BUT DOESN’T MAKE ME A DRUG ADDICT. IT’S NOT LEGAL BY THE WAY,
BUT I MEAN STILL, THAT
HAPPENS AND FAMILY HAPPENS AND HUSBAND AND WIFE. SO A LOT OF THINGS
INAPPROPRIATELY AND PEOPLE
WOULD PROBABLY ANSWER THAT QUESTIONNAIRE. I HATE TO THINK THAT IT’S
ONE IN TWELVE THAT WE
HAVE A DRUG PROBLEM WITH. ROB: NOW I DON’T WANT TO
MAKE ANYONE SET THROUGH AN
ORGANIC CHEMISTRY CLASS HERE, BUT ARE THE DRUGS
THAT WE PRESCRIBE,
PRESCRIPTION DRUGS THAT ARE NORMALLY LEGALLY, DO
THEY WORK DIFFERENTLY THAN
THE DRUGS THAT YOU MIGHT FIND ON THE SAME STREET? OR ARE THEY BASICALLY
THE SAME STUFF? STANDRIDGE: BASICALLY VERY
SIMILAR, I MEAN YOU HAVE
YOUR OPIATES OUT THERE. YOU HAVE A PRESCRIPTION. I MEAN THEY’RE ALL
FAIRLY SIMILAR. THEY ALL COME FROM
THE SAME ROOTS. AND WE WERE TALKING ABOUT
AMPHETAMINES OR
METHAMPHETAMINES EARLIER. IN MY OPINION, THE DRUG
THAT’S CAUSING THE
ADDICTION IS THE SAME DRUG WHETHER IT’S IN A
RITALIN OR IT’S IN
A METHAMPHETAMINE. NOW, THE LONG-TERM
NEGATIVE AFFECTS OF TAKING
METHAMPHETAMINE, AS FAR AS WHAT IT DOES TO YOUR
PERSON, I THINK IS,
PHYSICALLY THAT IS, I THINK AND MENTALLY, I
THINK IS A LITTLE
DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF THE PROCESS OF MAKING
THE DRUG AND ALL THE BAD
THINGS THAT GET INTO IT. BUT NO, I THINK THE DRUGS
ARE VERY, VERY SIMILAR. IF THEY’RE NOT THE SAME
DRUGS, THEY’RE ACTING
THE SAME TO THE ADDICT. ROB: ALRIGHT THANK YOU SO
MUCH; SENATOR ROB
STANDRIDGE, APPRECIATE YOU COMING INTO THE STUDIO. STANDRIDGE: SURE, SURE,
ANYTIME; THANK YOU.

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