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Attorney General Programs and Initiatives Listed by State
Attorney General Programs and Initiatives Listed by State
The Controlled Substances Advisory Committee (CSAC), established by law in the attorney general’s office, is an advisory board made up of various subject-matter experts in the field of controlled substances, with expertise in medicine, law enforcement, and citizenry. The CSAC is charged with advising the Governor of the need to add, delete, or reschedule substances under Alaska law, evaluating the effectiveness of current programs, budget and appropriations, reviewing enforcement policies and procedures, treatment, counseling, and regulations regarding controlled substances, and making recommendations to the Governor, Alaska Court System and Legislature based upon their findings. The Attorney General’s designee is Chair of the Committee. The CSAC has made recommendations to the Governor and legislature about several needed changes in the law, including strengthening Alaska’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program.
The attorney general holds an annual Arkansas Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Summit in November 2016 provided free training and educational opportunities for about 700 law enforcement officers, medical professionals, pharmacists and educators regarding prescription drug abuse prevention and treatment. The all-day Summit includes breakout sessions to discuss resources and techniques. Since 2010, the Attorney General's office has teamed up with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to sponsor the "Monitor, Secure, Dispose" program, which encourages Arkansans to safely dispose of their unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The Attorney General's office is a sponsor of the semi-annual Prescription Drug "Take-Back" Day held each spring and fall, when Arkansans can safely dispose of their unused prescription drugs by dropping the pills off at collection sites staffed by law enforcement officers. The sites are located across the state, and the drugs are securely disposed of in an environmentally friendly way. The Attorney General also has a podcast about drug abuse prevention on her website.
The attorney general supervises the California Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, known in California as Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System. The attorney general recently announced the launch of CURES 2.0, a state-of-the-art overhaul of California’s prescription drug monitoring program that allows health providers and pharmacists to more effectively flag at-risk patients and curb prescription drug abuse. California law also requires that prescribers of any Schedule II through V controlled substance to obtain and use tamper-resistant prescription forms ordered only from state-approved security printers. Vendors seeking to become state-approved printers of controlled substances prescription forms must apply with the California Department of Justice.
The Attorney General also chairs the Colorado Substance Abuse Trend and Response Task Force. The Task Force develops strategies to, 1) assist local communities with implementation of the most effective practices for substance abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment and in developing responses by the criminal justice system; 2) review model programs that have shown the best results in Colorado and across the U.S. and provide information on the programs to local communities and local drug task forces; 3) measure and evaluate the progress of state and local jurisdictions in preventing substance abuse and illegal drug production and distribution, and in prosecuting persons engaging in these acts. The Task Force monitors emerging drug abuse issues in order to respond proactively.
In September 2016, the attorney general announced the Colorado Naloxone for Life Initiative a collaborative effort with the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, to distribute Narcan, the nasal spray form of Naloxone, to first responders. It can be easily administered to an overdosing person, and can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, reviving individuals, and potentially preventing death. The initiative will provide law enforcement and other first responders with training and access to Narcan, as well as with a way to track the success of the use of Narcan in Colorado. The initiative also includes trainings in 6 regions across the state on how to administer Narcan and on associated protocols for its use. The initiative includes upgrade of the OpiRescu app for mobile devices that not only provides in-the-field instruction on how to administer Narcan but will is used to collect information on overdose reversals.
The Attorney General, with other state officials, announced that 80,000 drug deactivation kits capable of safely disposing unused prescription medications have been donated to the State of Connecticut and are now available free-of-charge to residents at over 600 pharmacies throughout the state. The biodegradable Deterra drug disposal kits can deactivate and destroy up to 45 pills each simply by adding warm tap water and then disposing the kit in the trash.
The Attorney General issued a report in 2016 that proposed steps that could reduce substance abuse in Delaware (http://news.delaware.gov/files/2016/10/DOJ-Drug-Overdose-Statement-2016.pdf). Among other things, the report noted that the state has tightened the regulations on prescribing opioids, created a commission to review all opioid or heroin-related deaths, and expanded the use of naloxone by law enforcement officers. The Attorney General recommended that law enforcement make better use of the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and that the state provide better training of doctors and notification to prescribing physicians when their patients overdose.
District of Columbia
The Attorney General formed the Emerging Drug Trends Task Force in 2015. The Task Force researches, analyzes and develops strategies to combat the dangers posed by emerging drug trends such as opioid addiction and synthetic cannabinoids. The Attorney General’s office is also part of the North & Mid-Atlantic Heroin Task Force, which fosters collaboration across multiple state law enforcement agencies. The Attorney General’s office has hosted Drug Take-Back events, and is working to create a robust take-back program throughout the District.
The Attorney General’s office announced that Narcan and Naloxone will be offered at a discounted rate when bought in bulk by police, first responders, governmental entities and community-based organizations in Florida. The Attorney General’s office has supported legislation that will help better equip law enforcement, prosecutors and the state with new tools to further address the opioid crisis by adding Fentanyl and other deadly synthetic drugs to Florida’s drug trafficking statute, which will give state prosecutors the ability to seek stronger sentences against drug traffickers. The Attorney General also supported legislation that would create a certification program for sober homes and expand the authority of the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution to prosecute patient brokering offenses.
The Attorney General maintains a webpage with resources for preventing alcohol and drug abuse: https://law.georgia.gov/prescription-drug-abuse
The Attorney General maintains a webpage with resources for preventing alcohol and drug abuse: http://ag.hawaii.gov/cpja/ccp/substance-abuse-prevention/prevention-tips/
The Attorney General created the Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force, whose mission is to significantly reduce the abuse of controlled prescription drugs and to decrease the number of deaths associated with these drugs. The Task Force includes state legislators, law enforcement, health and medical professionals, federal, state and local government agencies and advocates, among others. The Task Force has five Committees: Education, Enforcement, INSPECT (Indiana’s PDMP); Take Back and Treatment and Recovery. Education and training resources can be found at the Task Force website: http://www.in.gov/bitterpill/about.html
The Keep Kentucky Kids Safe program was launched by the attorney general in 2010 with the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, Kentucky Pharmacists Association, National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, Operation UNITE and concerned parents. The campaign has alerted more than 45,000 students, teachers and parents to the dangers of abusing prescription drugs and heroin. The attorney general’s office has a Drug Investigation Branch http://ag.ky.gov/criminal/dci/drugs/Pages/default.aspx which focuses on combatting illegal drug abuse in Kentucky, including diversion of prescription drugs, doctor shopping, over-prescribing and theft and illegal sales of prescription drugs.
The Attorney General has partnered with the Louisiana Ambulance Alliance in an initiative, End the Epidemic, which is designed to combat opioid abuse in Louisiana. The effort is funded at no expense to taxpayers through the Opioid Abuse Prevention Fund, which collects monies through pharmaceutical rebates requested by Emergency Medical Services providers across the state. End the Epidemic seeks to reduce the record levels of opioid abuse occurring throughout Louisiana on multiple fronts: By better educating patients about proper prescription usage and storage; communicating the dangers of illicit drugs and prescription abuse; providing treatment information; and teaching educators, parents, and family members how to spot opioid abuse among their students, peers, and loved ones. https://www.endtheepidemicla.org/. Through an unrelated antitrust settlement with pharmaceutical manufacturer Pfizer, the Attorney General’s office received $1 million worth of Naloxone for use by first responders.
The Attorney General participated in the Maine Opiate Collaborative’s Law Enforcement Task Force, which issued recommendations on diversion, sharing of drug arrest data and treatment options for incarcerated persons. (http://www.maine.gov/ag/docs/20160513084630118.pdf) The Attorney General recently announced a new television ad which is the latest in the “Dose of Reality” ad campaign warning of the link between prescription pain killers and heroin addiction.
The Organized Crime Unit of the Attorney General’s Office has prioritized combatting the heroin epidemic by focusing on dismantling the most dangerous drug organizations across the State. Since its inception in 2015, the Organized Crime Unit, in coordination with local, state, and federal prosecutors and law enforcement agencies, works to aid in the fight against the opioid epidemic. Every heroin overdose in Maryland is being investigated as a homicide, in an effort to identify the distributor. Together with the Drug Enforcement Agency and the State’s Attorneys of Maryland, the Maryland Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office are developing a best practices model on gathering evidence required for criminal prosecution.
The office is also part of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Heroin Task Force, a group of prosecutors from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Maine that is leveraging the resources of several states to combat the growing and dangerous cross-border distribution of heroin. The Office of the Attorney General is a member of the Governor’s Heroin and Opioid Emergency Task Force, and is working with stakeholders across the state to develop best-practice solutions to combat addiction and related crime.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’ office, through its Medicaid Fraud Division and Criminal Bureau, is leading a coalition of state and federal agencies, the Interagency Group on Illegal Prescribing, which investigates and prosecutes prescribers, pharmacists and others who contribute to the opioid epidemic by illegally prescribing or dispensing pills. Participating agencies include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the State Auditor’s Office and MassHealth. The office has also formed an investigative group to identify practitioners who are illegally prescribing opioids. This partnership will allow state and federal law enforcement agencies to share information about those who run “pill mills” or prescribe to people with a history of substance abuse.
The Attorney General joined with other state officials to issue the Michigan Drug and Opioid Use Task Force Report. As part of that report, the subcommittee on Regulation, Enforcement and Policy, chaired by the Attorney General, recommended updating the states PDMP to a 24/7 operation, supported drug take-back programs. The Attorney General’ office has a Drug Abuse Enforcement Unit.
“Aid Montana: Addressing the Impact of Drugs” is an initiative led by the Attorney General’s office to develop a comprehensive strategic plan for addressing substance abuse in Montana. Aid Montana is designed to be a comprehensive approach to addressing Montana’s substance abuse problem. Law enforcement, treatment, education and coordination efforts are central components to the initiative. Through a series of “listening sessions” throughout the state, the Attorney General’s office anticipates developing a strategic plan, to be completed before the 2019 legislative session. This plan will serve as a “roadmap” to lawmakers that outlines what needs to be done at the legislative level to efficiently and effectively combat this problem, possibly through shifting resources to determine where they are most effective, or through changing laws to better reflect the reality of the problem. The Montana Attorney General has also created the “Resolve Montana” program to address prescription drug abuse. Resolve Montana includes initiatives for safe medication disposal for pharmacies and individuals, including permanent prescription drug drop locations across the state and developed guidelines for proper drug disposal. Links to treatment resources are included on the attorney general’s website. https://dojmt.gov/consumer/prescriptiondrugabuse/
The Attorney General’s office has established the “Dose of Reality” program to prevent prescription painkiller abuse in Nebraska. The Attorney General’s office created the program with the state Department of Health and Human Services, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other organizations. A daylong conference, “Charting the Road to Recovery: Nebraska’s Response to Opioid Abuse,” was held in October 2016. The program website includes information about drug take-back programs, information about safe acquisition and safe storage of prescription drugs, and links to treatment resources. https://doseofreality.nebraska.gov/
The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office has developed the Prescription Drug Drop Box Initiative which provides information on prescription drug drop-box locations throughout the state.
The Attorney General’s office has a Drug Control Unit which is responsible for filing disciplinary actions against doctors for over-prescribing pain-killers, administering the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program, a database of prescriptions filled in New Jersey, and developing Project Medicine Drop, that provides prescription drop boxes throughout the state. The Attorney General’s office also initiated changes in state regulations to impose a five-day limit on initial prescriptions of opioid painkillers and executed an emergency order to ban counterfeit fentanyl. The attorney general and state medical boards adopted new rules on limitations on prescribing, administering or dispensing of controlled dangerous substances with specific limitations for opioid drugs. http://www.njconsumeraffairs.gov/dcu/Pages/default.aspx
The Attorney General established the Community Overdose Prevention (COP) program to fund the training and equipping of eligible law enforcement agencies throughout New York State with Narcan. COP dedicates $5 million of funds seized as crime proceeds from joint federal and state criminal investigations to fund the purchase of a “naloxone kit” for every sworn officer in the state that might encounter an acute opioid overdose in the line of duty. The Attorney General also entered into a settlement with the insurer Cigna under which Cigna agreed to end its policy of requiring prior authorization for medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. Pre-authorization requirements can lead to delay in patients obtaining treatment for addiction.
The Attorney General’s office advocates a three-pronged approach: prevention (reduction in opioid prescriptions by doctors, education of consumers as to the dangers of opioids); treatment (improving funding and access to education-assisted treatment programs); and enforcement (effective enforcement of criminal laws against dealers and traffickers, treatment for low-level offenders, greater availability of Naloxone). http://www.ncdoj.gov/Top-Issues/Fighting-Crime/Opioid-Crisis.aspx. The Attorney General’s website has information about drug take-back programs: http://ncdoj.gov/RxTakeBack
The North Dakota Attorney General publishes a report each year on current status and trends of unlawful drug use and abuse and drug control and enforcement efforts in North Dakota. The Attorney General also launched a Prescription Drug Take Back program in 2009 and has partnered with local law enforcement agencies around the state to collect and dispose of the unwanted and unused drugs. https://attorneygeneral.nd.gov/public-safety/take-back-program
The Attorney General’s office has a Heroin Unit that pursues opiate traffickers and works with affected communities. The unit combines the skills of the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Special Prosecutions section of the Attorney General’s office and drug outreach specialists. The unit provides assistance in community engagement, naloxone training and availability, task force development and investigative strategies.
The attorney general announced that legislation was being introduced to form the Oklahoma Commission on Opioid Abuse. The nine-member Commission will be chaired by the attorney general and members will study, evaluate and make recommendations for changes to state policy, rules or statutes to better combat opioid abuse in Oklahoma. "Oklahoma is currently in the midst of an opioid abuse epidemic that is reaching a crisis level," Attorney General Hunter said.
Oregon was the first governmental entity in the country to settle with the pharmaceutical company Insys over allegations that the company promoted Subsys for off-label uses, and targeted doctors to prescribe the opioid. The Oregon Department of Justice settled with Insys for $1.1 million to resolve allegations the company incorrectly promoted the drug. The settlement funds were used to fund projects to combat opioid abuse, including distributi8on of naloxone, disposal of unused prescription drugs and improved access to treatment.
Prescription Drug Abuse Education Programs are offered by the Attorney General's Education & Outreach Unit, including an original video production titled "Consequences" which targets information about prescription drug abuse to students. Organizations seeking speakers or other resources on the topic can contact the OAG Education & Outreach Unit at: firstname.lastname@example.org The Attorney General’s office has a Community Drug Abuse Prevention Grant Program, which provides grants to organizations for the purpose of bringing an age appropriate, innovative and fact based educational program on the dangers and effects of the illegal use of prescription drugs, illegal street drugs, synthetic drugs and underage drinking.to student, parents and community members.
The Office of Attorney General is authorized by law to collect data regarding the dispensation of Schedule II controlled substances by pharmacies in Pennsylvania. The program, Achieving Better Care by Monitoring All Prescriptions (ABC-MAP) includes Schedules II, III, IV and V drugs. The program enhances law enforcement's and the medical community's ability to identify the illegal diversion of highly-addictive prescription drugs.
The Office of Attorney General also supports "National Take Back Day" which is an effort to remove unused and unwanted prescription drugs from households and properly dispose of them. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration holds such efforts periodically.
The Attorney General serves on the Governor’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force with key stakeholders in areas of government, public health, recovery, and prevention to craft sustainable solutions to address the opioid abuse and addiction crisis in Rhode Island. The Attorney General’s office reached a settlement with the manufacturer of Naloxone under which local agencies would receive rebates on Naloxone purchases, and the Attorney General’s office processed the rebates.
The Attorney General’s office is a member of the Prescription Opioid Abuse Advisory Committee within the South Dakota Department of Health. The Advisory Committee. The Attorney General’s Office sponsored legislation in 2015 that would enable all first responders to carry naloxone, a medicine to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses. The Attorney General’s Office has authorized the use of available drug control funds to assist units of local government and first responders with the purchase of naloxone.
At the Attorney General’s request, the legislature created the South Dakota Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, which provides physicians and pharmacists the opportunity to voluntarily access the prescription repository in order to have available additional medical history. The purpose of this program was to improve patient care by providing physicians and pharmacists with a controlled substance dispensing history for their patients.
The Tennessee Attorney General’s office issued an opinion that doctors and pharmacists may be sued for negligently prescribing or dispensing medication to a patient who is, or becomes, addicted to that medication, although actual liability would depend on the specific facts of each case.
The Attorney General’s office has a website page about abuse of synthetic drugs: https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/initiatives/synthetics
The Virginia Attorney General’s office has undertaken a series of initiatives to combat opioid and heroin deaths. The initiatives include 1) working with state and federal prosecutors to prioritize heroin and prescription drug abuse cases; 2) supporting “good Samaritan” legislation for overdoses and legislation to widen the distribution of Naloxone; 3) appearing before state regulatory boards to present evidence against those who are making prescription opiates available illegally; 4) producing educational modules for students about opioid and heroin abuse, as well as a documentary about heroin addiction (available at www.HardestHitVA.com and 5) providing a treatment resource locator to help Virginians and their families connect with treatment resources in their community.
The Attorney General's Office uses funds from settlements with drug manufacturers to provide grants to promote drug abuse prevention and prescription drug safety. Those grants include money to fund 1) the Washington Prevention Summits and Spring Youth Forums, where kids learn to use the latest technology to create prevention programs in their schools, 2) a prescription drug monitoring program to prevent the “doctor shopping” that allows addicts to get access to dangerous drugs; 3) education of doctors on drug marketing; 4) the Unwanted Medicine Return Program that promotes the safe disposal of unwanted medications. http://www.atg.wa.gov/prescription-drug-abuse
The Attorney General’s office has a number of initiatives to combat prescription drug abuse. The office worked with West Virginia Board of Medicine and the West Virginia Physical Therapy Association, among other groups to tackle opioid use in high school athletics and partnered with the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy to launch cutting-edge technology to help prescribers and pharmacists reduce opioid overprescription. The office, in collaboration with groups involved in the pharmaceutical supply chain, developed Best Practices Toolkits – suggested guidelines for prescribing and dispensing opioids - to curb the prescription pill epidemic in West Virginia. The office has a number of public service announcements and makes presentations to schools and to law enforcement agencies throughout the state. http://www.ago.wv.gov/consumerprotection/Fighting%20Substance%20Abuse/Pages/default.aspx
The Attorney General’s office has created a multi-pronged campaign, “Dose of Reality” to prevent prescription painkiller abuse in Wisconsin. http://doseofrealitywi.gov/. The program includes factual information about prescription drug abuse, resources for medical professionals, students, parents, educators, coaches and businesses and information about drug take-back events. The Wisconsin Attorney General’s office also announced a “comprehensive pharmacy robbery prevention and response training program" -- a joint effort between the Department of Justice, the Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin and law enforcement that focuses on opening and closing practices, surveillance camera placement and time-delay safes, as well as teaching employees how to be safe and to be good witnesses in criminal proceedings.