Prescription Drug Abuse

There is no question that Ohio is battling a serious prescription drug abuse and diverision epidemic. According to the Ohio Department of Health, unintentional drug poisoning became the leading cause of injury death in Ohio, surpassing motor vehicle crashes and suicide for the first time on record in 2007.

From 1999 to 2008, Ohio’s death rate due to unintentional drug poisonings increased 350 percent, and the increase in deaths has been driven largely by prescription drug overdoses. In Ohio, there were 327 fatal unintentional drug overdoses in 1999 growing to 1,473 annual deaths in 2008. On average, from 2006 to 2008, approximately four people died each day in Ohio due to drug overdose.

The OSMA is committed to combating the growing epidemic of prescription drug abuse and diversion in Ohio. To help in this effort, we have created the OSMA Prescription Drug Abuse Advisory Committee consisting of 28 physicians from pain medicine, emergency medicine, primary care, psychiatry, neurology and anesthesiology.

The OSMA Prescription Drug Abuse Advisory Committee remains actively involved as the voice for Ohio’s physicians in developing strategies to crack down on rogue providers operating pill mills while preserving the practice of legitimate medical care and the physician-patient relationship. The committee has been meeting for more than a year developing policy and recommendations for the OSMA and will continue to provide ongoing assistance to public policymakers and the Medical Board on the epidemic of prescription drug abuse and diversion Ohio.

As we fight together to find ways to combat this serious public health epidemic, the Ohio General Assembly passed HB 93, legislation aimed at curbing prescription drug abuse in Ohio. Below you will find a number of resources regarding that legislation as well as efforts to fight this problem.