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An opioid epidemic. High smoking rates. Health care provider shortages. Indiana faces serious public health challenges. Side Effects Public Media provides in-depth coverage of these issues and more.

Indiana's Defense Against Prescription Drug Abuse

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http://media.soundmedicine.org/segments/042813_7.mp3

According to John Finnell, M.D., car accidents used to be the No. 1 cause of death in 18- to 40-year-olds; now it’s prescription drug abuse. To help monitor prescription drug abuse, Indiana is using health information technology to monitor prescriptions. The INSPECT program requires a physician to log in and enter a patient's full name, date of birth and address, and within 10 to 15 minutes the program generates results. A majority of hospital emergency rooms in Indiana now require INSPECT checks for all patients. Wishard Memorial Hospital in Indianapolis is also using a program called Narc Check, which uses algorithms to generate a score physicians can use to predict whether a patient may be abusing prescription drugs.