State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_90 > GS_90-113_71

§ 90‑113.71.  Legislative findings and purpose.

(a)        The General Assembly makes the following findings:

(1)        North Carolina is experiencing an epidemic of poisoningdeaths from unintentional drug overdoses.

(2)        Since 1997, the number of deaths from unintentional drugoverdoses has increased threefold, from 228 deaths in 1997 to 690 deaths in2003.

(3)        The number of unintentional deaths from illicit drugs inNorth Carolina has decreased since 1992 while unintentional deaths from licitdrugs, primarily prescriptions, have increased.

(4)        Licit drugs are now responsible for over half of the fatalunintentional poisonings in North Carolina.

(5)        Over half of the prescription drugs associated withunintentional deaths are narcotics (opioids).

(6)        Of these licit drugs, deaths from methadone, usuallyprescribed as an analgesic for severe pain, have increased sevenfold since1997.

(7)        Methadone from opioid treatment program clinics is anegligible source of the methadone that has contributed to the dramaticincrease in unintentional methadone‑related deaths in North Carolina.

(8)        Review of the experience of the 19 states that have activecontrolled substances reporting systems clearly documents that implementationof these reporting systems do not create a "chilling" effect onprescribing.

(9)        Review of data from controlled substances reporting systemshelp:

a.         Support the legitimate medical use of controlled substances.

b.         Identify and prevent diversion of prescribed controlledsubstances.

c.         Reduce morbidity and mortality from unintentional drugoverdoses.

d.         Reduce the costs associated with the misuse and abuse ofcontrolled substances.

e.         Assist clinicians in identifying and referring for treatmentpatients misusing controlled substances.

f.          Reduce the cost for law enforcement of investigating casesof diversion and misuse.

g.         Inform the public, including health care professionals, ofthe use and abuse trends related to prescription drugs.

(b)        This Article is intended to improve the State's ability toidentify controlled substance abusers or misusers and refer them for treatment,and to identify and stop diversion of prescription drugs in an efficient andcost‑effective manner that will not impede the appropriate medicalutilization of licit controlled substances. (2005‑276, s. 10.36(a).)