Practice Changes to Reduce Misuse of Prescription Medications
In This Video
- Research on misuse of prescription medications has revealed simple practice changes that can have a big impact on the health of young patients
- By using extended-release stimulants, monitoring pill counts, and talking to patients about safe medication storage, physicians can help mitigate this issue
- In this video, Timothy Wilens, MD, outlines four practices changes that have been implemented at Mass General to reduce or negate prescription abuse
Research on misuse of prescription medications has revealed simple practice changes that can have a big impact on the health of young patients. In this video, Timothy Wilens, MD, chief of Mass General's Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and co-director of the Center for Addiction Medicine, outlines four practices changes that have been implemented at Mass General to reduce or negate much of the prescription medication misuse.
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The findings from our research and our collaborative work with University of Michigan have really important clinical findings and utility. In other words, you can change your practice today as we have changed our practice. As we are informing pediatrics and general child psychiatry to change their practices. A few things that will make a huge difference. By using extended-release stimulants you markedly reduce the non-medical use and misuse of stimulant medications and that's an easy thing to do. By the way, for my other hat doing ADHD research for almost three decades, is the proper way to treat ADHD, you want to treat it through the day.
Number two: monitor pill counts. People asking for refills early. That's a problem. People who come in and try to ask for additional, especially immediate release medications, something to think about and ask about it.
Number three: anybody who you are prescribing these medicines to, you need to talk them about safe storage of these medicines. Limit the amount of stockpiling, cut it back to what really is necessary in the prescription and they're just going to have to request more frequent prescriptions.
Again, finally, I think if you're seeing patients, any young adult, you really need to ask about prescription medication misuse. It is common. It doesn't just include stimulants. We focused on stimulants but it includes benzodiazepines and opioid use medicines. The latter two, by the way, in young adults who typically don't go to college.
These types of just sort of practical guidelines by practitioners, we think will help reduce or negate a large part of the prescription medication misuse that's occurring.
Learn more about the Center for Addiction Medicine
Learn more about Child Psychiatry at Mass General