Magazine article Addiction Professional

We Can't Afford to Play Catch-Up with Stimulants

Magazine article Addiction Professional

We Can't Afford to Play Catch-Up with Stimulants

Article excerpt

In the analysis of drug trends, the most pressing question might not be: "What will be the next drug crisis?" The field arguably should focus more on: "Why do we always seem to be running behind the problem?"

An undercurrent of concern about the timeliness of the surveillance systems on which policy leaders, law enforcement and public health officials rely has run through many recent discussions with researchers. Those interviewed for this issue's cover story on emerging trends in stimulant use pointed out gaps in the tracking and reporting of actionable data, both nationally and in the states.

Jim Hall, whose career as an epidemiologist in Florida spans multiple drug crises, looks in several directions in tracking trends at the state and local level. Crime lab data and medical examiner toxicology screen results capture most of his attention, but he adds that social media also can be fertile ground for terms that signal new activity afoot.

Stephanie Nichols, PharmD, of the School of Pharmacy at Husson University in Maine, has been involved as a research partner with the state's Diversion Alert system that collects timely information on the substances involved in drug arrests. Yet she laments that Diversion Alert remains severely underutilized.

Data show that while 44% of the system's users are physicians, only one-third of all physicians in Maine are registered to use it, Nichols reports. Involvement from other practitioners is even more disappointing, with only a 16% registration rate for pharmacists. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.