What States Is Gabapentin A Controlled Substance 2020
If you’ve been following news reports of people dying from opioid overdoses, it’s likely that you are one of those who are familiar with the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) 2016 statistics about drug overdose deaths in America. According to the CDC report, more than 50,000 Americans died due to drug overdose last year — including almost 10,000 involving opioids. This is roughly three times higher than the number of deaths recorded during 1999-2010. It’s no wonder why so many advocates are calling for the need to increase funding for treatment centers and substance abuse programs across the country.
In addition to increasing funding, there has also been talk about making changes to how prescriptions for controlled substances are handled. Although this may seem drastic at first glance, some have suggested changing the current system where patients get their controlled substances refills early. And while this sounds good, it raises questions regarding what exactly would happen if this were allowed according to the federal regulations.
“As far as I know,” says Dr. Thomas J. Babor, medical director at The Pain Center located in New York City, “there hasn’t been any major studies done to determine whether allowing controlled substances to be filled early will actually reduce the amount of pills being abused.”
According to the federal regulations, scheduled III and IV drugs like Oxycontin and Vicodin cannot be refilled until after they’re finished, unless you receive your refill early because of an emergency situation — such as surgery, hospitalization or death. You can then obtain a new 90-day supply of these drugs as long as you do so through an authorized prescriber, who can prescribe them again once the supply runs out. Also, under these same circumstances, you could request that your physician write a prescription for a seven-day supply instead of a standard 30-day supply. If you don’t follow these guidelines, you’ll end up having to go back home without getting refills for whatever medication you need.
This isn’t the case for all Schedule III and IV controlled substances though. For example, Schedule II substances like methadone, clonidine and diazepam can be refilled early under certain conditions. According to the federal regulations, controlled medications like Schedules III and IV can only be refilled early on an authorized prescription or usually as early as two days for a 30-day supply. So if you take a daily dose of this type of medication, you should probably try contacting your doctor before going to a pharmacy just to make sure you’re OK with refilling early.
The reason behind this rule is pretty simple: People generally don’t realize when they’re running low on their meds until it’s too late. When someone has taken a daily dose of a schedule III or IV controlled substance over several weeks, the effects of taking it might not show up right away. Once this happens, the patient might think he or she doesn’t need a pill anymore, but it can still accumulate in his or her body, causing adverse side effects. In fact, even if someone knows they’re running low on a daily dose, they can still continue using it by splitting it into smaller doses throughout the day.
So how does the federal government decide which controlled substances are eligible for refills early? Well, it looks at how often doctors prescribe these types of medications compared to other ones. For instance, Schedule V controlled substances like marijuana are rarely prescribed, while Schedule III and IV controlled substances are heavily used. So, the feds decided that refills for schedule III and IV controlled substances should be allowed earlier than those for schedule V.
While the idea of refilling schedule III and IV controlled substances early may sound great, there are risks associated with doing so. Taking a large dose of a schedule III or IV controlled substance can cause symptoms similar to alcohol intoxication, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, urinary retention, dizziness, sedation, dry mouth and breathing problems. Additionally, since most of these medications affect the central nervous system, their use can lead to hallucinations, confusion, slurred speech, convulsions and unconsciousness. These side effects aren’t always immediately noticeable either, so patients can experience them when they wake up later. They can also occur gradually, leading to severe complications. Some of these side effects include seizures, coma, respiratory depression, cardiac arrest, kidney failure, liver damage, bleeding, infection, blood vessel rupture, heart attack, stroke and organ malfunction.
Because of these serious risks, it’s important to talk to your doctor before requesting refills early for schedule III and IV controlled substances. He or she will consider your health history, current medications, tolerance level, overall well-being and current condition before deciding whether or not to approve refills early.
For the best results, it’s advised that anyone who wants to refill schedule III and IV controlled substances early consult with their physician to see if it’s safe for him or her.
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