How Primary Care Docs Are Learning To Treat Mental Illness

The patient, pleading for pills, set off alarm bells in the doctor’s head.

When abused, the anti-seizure drug the patient was seeking can produce a euphoric high. Was the patient battling an addiction?

On a computer, the doctor searched a database for the patient’s electronic record, including any recently prescribed narcotics.

Compiled by the Hawaii Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, the database tracks the 1.4 million controlled substance prescriptions Hawaii doctors and pharmacists are expected to dispense to patients this year. The information helps prescribers detect and prevent prescription drug abuse.

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