Kentucky’s Fort Campbell Gearing Up for Changes in Army Prescription Drug Policies

Fort Campbell is getting ready for new prescribing rules to take effect July 5 that are a result of Army-wide changes designed to cut down on prescription drug abuse.

The policy may change the way soldiers and their dependents receive some prescription drugs, WPSD Local 6 reports. The new policy restricts prescribed amounts of controlled substances at all military treatment facilities. The Drug Enforcement Administration considers these drugs as having a potential for abuse. They include narcotics/opiates for severe pain, benzodiazepines for anxiety and sleeping problems, and stimulants for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and trouble staying awake, the news station reports.

Under the policy, soldiers and family members should be prescribed the minimum quantity of controlled substances needed to treat an acute illness or injury. Medical providers are encouraged to schedule frequent visits with patients to ensure that the medication is effective, and to tell patients about side effects, the report notes.

Blanchfield Army Community Hospital Pharmacy Chief Maj. Paul Kassebaum told the news station that the Army policy also includes a six-month expiration date for the use of controlled substances dispensed to soldiers. Those with a chronic medical condition that require a prescription for a controlled substance medication must get a new prescription every six months.

The new prescription policies follow a 2010 report on health promotion, risk reduction and suicide prevention in the Army that cited prescription drug abuse as a growing issue.

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