Prescription narcotics abuse and doctor shopping to get those drugs in Kentucky continue to decline according to David Hopkins, Manager for the Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting Program (KASPER). Hopkins spoke at the Baptist Health Symposium on Saturday in Paducah.
According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, prescription narcotic abuse in Kentucky is down 2.1 percent since 2009.
"Some individuals were seeing as many as fifteen different prescribers and fifteen different dispensers. And we also looked at ten and ten, more than ten different prescribers, more than ten different dispensers," Hopkins said. "They were small numbers, but they have gone to zero. Those have gone to zero. From the latest data that I have been able to pull out of KASPER they have gone to zero. So we have seen a reduction in doctor shopping. And that's a good thing."
Since the 2012 passing of Kentucky House Bill 1, all doctors and pharmacists report prescribed controlled substances in the KASPER database. Kentucky did have the second highest abuse rate in the United States, but has since fallen to 31st.
"We know it's still going on," he said. "We haven't eliminated doctor shopping, but this legislation, House Bill 1, the regulations by the license board clearly have resulted in a drop in doctor shopping in Kentucky."