Landmark Bill Considered by ND Legislature
Posted 4/13/11 (Wed)
As chair of the North Dakota Addiction Treatment Providers Coalition, Heartview’s Executive Director Kurt Snyder has played a significant role in landmark legislation in the State of North Dakota. The bill under consideration ( SB 2151) would expand access to the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) to addiction treatment counselors. If the bill is signed into law, North Dakota will be the first and only state whose addiction treatment counselors have access to this information.
The PDMP is a computerized system that provides physicians and pharmacists with a consolidated list of drugs prescribed and/or dispensed to a patient. Through this system, physicians and pharmacists are able to identify patients who are acquiring large amounts of narcotics by “doctor shopping” and by filling prescriptions at multiple pharmacies. By allowing addiction treatment professionals access to the system, providers will have up-to-the-minute information on the prescription history of individuals seeking service.
Kurt’s involvement in the legislative process has garnered national attention. A recent issue of Alcoholism & Drug Weekly, a publication widely read in the addiction field, contained an article on the North Dakota bill and the lobbying efforts of the North Dakota Addiction Treatment Providers Coalition.
“Our efforts in North Dakota are definitely being noticed around the country,” says Snyder. “I was asked to participate in the NIDA National Steering Committee hearing in Washington DC, March 15-17. NIDA may be interested in evaluating the effectiveness of access for addiction professionals.”