Sheriffs want lists of patients using painkillers

The word privacy has no meaning in this country any more.  Does this sheriff honestly believe that because some people abuse prescription drugs he has a right to everyone’s personal medical information?

Sheriffs want lists of patients using painkillers

Sheriffs in North Carolina want access to state computer records identifying anyone with prescriptions for powerful painkillers and other controlled substances.

The state sheriff’s association pushed the idea Tuesday, saying the move would help them make drug arrests and curb a growing problem of prescription drug abuse. But patient advocates say opening up people’s medicine cabinets to law enforcement would deal a devastating blow to privacy rights.

Allowing sheriffs’ offices and other law enforcement officials to use the state’s computerized list would vastly widen the circle of people with access to information on prescriptions written for millions of people. As it stands now, doctors and pharmacists are the main users.

Nearly 30 percent of state residents received at least one prescription for a controlled substance, anything from Ambien to OxyContin, in the first six months of this year, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Nearly 2.5 million people filled prescriptions in that time for more than 375 million doses. The database has about 53.5 million prescriptions in it.

Sheriffs made their pitch Tuesday to a legislative health care committee looking for ways to confront prescription drug abuse. Local sheriffs said that more people in their counties die of accidental overdoses than from homicides.

For years, sheriffs have been trying to convince legislators that the state’s prescription records should be open to them.

“We can better go after those who are abusing the system,” said Lee County Sheriff Tracy L. Carter.

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4 Responses to Sheriffs want lists of patients using painkillers

  1. AliSilver says:

    This is one of the more ‘reaching’ things I’ve seen on law enforcement. How does sifting through 100′s of thousands of names OR MORE make the job easier for him and his officers? Also a lot of people get a pain med from a DR for an isolated incident, tooth ache or broken bone….It sounds to me like he’s trying to paint some more ‘bad guys’ out of regular pain sufferers and the ocean of info he seeks will only keep officers behind a desk sifting through lists and off the streets where the crime is.
    I wonder what his own personal motivation is…………..

    Then if you get pulled over for speeding will they say ‘OH i know you,,, you blew your knee out last year and been eating vicodaine like CANDY since,,, grow up ,, your a pansy’. Will it alter they way they interact with you if they know your prescription history? ARRRGGGG

    Sage Reply:

    Oh, thanks for the article. I forgot to thank you in the post.

    AliSilver Reply:

    @Sage, YW, but it’s no problem if you don’t. I just send u stuff that catches my eye and looks like you might interest you as well.

    Wizcon Reply:

    @AliSilver, You’ll probably have to have papers.If you are an immigrant, you’ll need a notebook to carry all your papers in.

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