Loudon County Sheriff's Department
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sheriff Tim Guider announced today his office is opening a line of communication with the medical profession regarding prescription drug diversion and abuse. Guider stated it was important to make prescription writers of opiates and other highly abused drugs aware of their patientís alleged criminal activity concerning that patientís prescription pills. The Loudon County Sheriffís Office will soon be sending certified letters to the doctors and nurse practitioners writing prescriptions to persons that have been arrested or indicted for drug diversion or abuse crimes related to their prescriptions. The letter will identify the patient and the charges the patient is facing. It will also make clear that the crimes are alleged crimes and everyone is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. If and when a patient is convicted of prescription related offenses, a follow-up letter will be sent to the prescriber notifying them of the conviction. All of these letters will contain information that would be public information and nothing more.
Sheriff Guider explained, he supports rehabilitation programs and other initiatives that help people beat their addictions. Those are important programs to our addicted citizens and certainly important to their families. Unfortunately, that only helps, or attempts to help, the byproduct of this epidemic. The cause of this epidemic is the liberal volume of highly addictive pain pills being prescribed and disbursed in our community. We understand that the majority of the medical profession is honorable and dedicated to their oath to provide quality and genuine healthcare, however, law enforcement and emergency medical services are seeing the fallout created by numerous, reckless prescribers feeding a black market for prescription pain pills. Further, we understand there are many legitimate people that need pain management and benefit from these prescriptions. However, we cannot turn a blind eye to the unprecedented devastation they are causing.
Sheriff Guider explained the purpose of this letter is to open up a line of communication with prescription writers so they can be more informed of their patientís behaviors regarding their prescriptions. We feel this will cultivate more responsible prescription issuance and, ultimately, put fewer pills on the street to be illegally diverted and abused. With this growing epidemic of drug abuse and overdose deaths, it is imperative we take steps that will make people responsible for their actions. Sheriff Guider feels the implementation of this correspondence to health care professionals will help provide a path to more responsible prescribing practices and improve the overall safety to our community. Prescription medication is our number one drug problem in this country and in this county. They are responsible for more deaths than all other drugs combined and more deaths than auto accidents.