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Pharmacists emerge as critical gatekeeper in opioid epidemic

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Pharmacists, medical professionals, and law enforcement recently met for a conference in Alabama to discuss combating the deadly opioid epidemic in the state. Conference organizer Brent Fox says the goal is to begin the conversation about a problem that lacks a straightforward solution.

Pharmacists, medical professionals, and law enforcement recently met for a conference in Alabama to discuss combating the deadly opioid epidemic in the state. Conference organizer Brent Fox says the goal is to begin the conversation about a problem that lacks a straightforward solution. "You can't arrest your way out of this problem, from a law enforcement perspective. Pharmacy doesn't have a large impact on illicit medication. It's multi-pronged," says Fox, associate professor at Auburn University's School of Pharmacy, which hosted the conference. Pharmacists are emerging as a vital checkpoint, however, acting as gatekeepers who could play a key role in curbing Alabama's opioid epidemic by catching red flags before dispensing a prescription. At the conference, pharmacists were taught about recognizing the signs and symptoms of addicts, and about what they need to build a prosecutable case. Drug Task Force Sergeant Sean Malloy, of the Prattville Police Department, said he hopes to foster a partnership of accountability between law enforcement and pharmacists going forward.

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http://www.wsfa.com/story/34394050/pharmacists-emerge-as-critical-gatekeeper-in-opioid-epidemic

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