Georgia prescription drug database launches July 1st
The database will track Schedule II-V narcotic prescriptions for two years, giving doctors another tool when treating patients.
Starting July 1st, a state-wide database will track prescriptions for narcotics like Fentanyl and Oxycodone in Georgia.
"The bottom line is deaths are increasing from this particular epidemic and we want to change that," Georgia Public Health Commissioner Dr. Patrick O'Neal said.
O'Neal told a group with the Region A Healthcare Coalition on Tuesday that it's a step the state is taking to fight the opioid epidemic, something that's touched his family personally.
"My nephew survived. There have been so many situations where there was no survival. As I talk about my family, I hear about other families," he said.
Opiate Program Coordinator Shelia Pierce helped create the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program for Georgia.
She said the database will track Schedule II-V narcotic prescriptions for two years, giving doctors another tool when treating patients.
"What other active prescriptions the patient has, specifically what they are, who wrote them, where they were filled, etc. to use as part of their patient treatment program," Pierce added.
Pierce said if a doctor believes someone is abusing narcotics, they will be given options for getting help.
"We need to avoid the stigma that has developed around it so that people don't feel uncomfortable seeking help. Help is out there," O'Neal said.
Georgia public health leaders hope to be able to share data with other states in the future.
Tennessee has had a prescription drug monitoring program since 2006.