Tenn docs to check history when prescribing painkillers

9:02 am | April 1, 2013

CHATTANOOGA — Starting Monday, Tennessee doctors prescribing painkillers and other controlled substances will be required to check their patients’ prescription history to prevent abuse and doctor shopping.

The new requirement that was signed into law last year put doctors on the front line of Tennessee’s battle with some of the nation’s highest prescription drug abuse rates. The state’s Controlled Substance Monitoring Database has been around since 2006 and now clinicians prescribing any opioid or benzodiazepine will be required to check that database first.

Rae Young Bond, director of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society, told the Chattanooga Times Free Press the checks will be time-consuming, but a great tool.

Bond said the society also is planning more workshops to help doctors learn how to best confront patients they suspect of drug abuse.

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