Prescription drug abuse: A complex problem

CVS Health is one of many forces working to fight opioid abuse in the country. Its efforts include conducting opinion polls to understand public sentiment, which help inform the design of new opioid abuse tools and interventions.

CVS Health is one of many forces working to fight opioid abuse in the country. Its efforts include conducting opinion polls to understand public sentiment, which help inform the design of new opioid abuse tools and interventions. CVS Health polls show that 75% of Americans believe most or some prescription drug abuse is linked to people who take medications prescribed for someone else; about 33% have unused medication in their homes; and almost 50% are concerned that unused medication in their home could be misused. To encourage the proper disposal of unused medications, CVS Health helped create the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, through which local police departments can apply to receive a drug collection unit. Other steps toward preventing both opioid abuse and opioid overdose deaths include investigating and halting the filling of controlled substance prescriptions at CVS stores written by prescribers who exhibit questionable prescribing patterns; an advanced analytics platform that leverages CVS Health's dispensing data to help track suspected forged prescriptions; and advocating for states to let pharmacists dispense naloxone to patients who do not have a prescription. Finally, CVS Health's Pharmacists Teach program brings local pharmacists to high school health classes to discuss the dangers of prescription drug abuse.