Opioid abuse continues to be one of the worst public health problems in the United States. A recent study was the first to look at medication theft in long-term care settings, recommending that providers increase their efforts to address medication theft and protect residents’ rights for adequate and timely pain relief.
In an analysis of 107 state health department investigation reports involving “drug diversion,” the researchers found that an average of more than 30 tablets per resident were stolen, and 97.5% of them were controlled substances. The most common controlled substances stolen were opioids (94%), including oxycodone, hydrocodone, tramadol, hydromorphone, and morphine.
Even with strict regulations and safeguards, opioid misuse and diversion continues. Helping facilities control this problem is an important priority for Forum Extended Care Services, where our consultant pharmacists monitor controlled drug utilization at every community we serve.
For more on managing the opioid crisis — and a Case Study detailing how one of our pharmacists assisted a skilled nursing facility with a clinical issue that turned out to be diversion — download The Opioid Crisis in Perspective.