SCRANTON — Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano, Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola and Luzerne County Deputy District Attorney Chester Dudick recently joined U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Scranton, in backing a bill designed to combat prescription drug abuse.
Senate Bill 1657, sponsored by Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., would mandate new training for prescribers, establish grants to educate residents on the dangers of prescription drug abuse and promote safe medication disposal. It would require pharmacies to enter opioid prescriptions into a database and doctors to check the database before prescribing opioids.
It also would require health care prescribers to increase patient screenings for potential drug misuse or abuse. It would initiate a Health and Human Services grant program to increase training for behavioral screening, referral and brief intervention for treatment. And it calls for the Government Accountability Office to study prescription drug abuse programs and report to Congress ways to stop the abuse.