The American Society of Health-System Professionals' Michael Cohen, operations officer for the investigations branch of the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General in Washington, D.C., believes clinicians need to not just look at opioids but also at non-controlled drugs when trying to understand drug abuse.
"I pretty universally find among the pharmacists that this material that I talk about is not well-known,” Cohen said in a statement.
Cohen, who has been a featured speaker on drug abuse at the Pharmacy Diversion Awareness Conference series led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, noted abusers will often use non-controlled drugs in combination with other prescription, nonprescription, or street drugs.
Kathryn Dorward, ambulatory care clinical pharmacist for the Greater Rochester Independent Practice Association in New York, stated that her practice is interesting in learning more about non-controlled drug abuse so they can be better informed when prescribing drugs.
"The biggest question is, what is out there that can be abused that we don't even know about?" Dorward said. "What do we need to look for? How can we try to identify those patients? Just looking at pharmacy data, what do we need to look for?"