Because the problem of abuse and diversion of prescription pain medication is a community-wide public health and public safety challenge, the Community Pain Management Project will work collaboratively with local law enforcement agencies and the courts.
Local law enforcement agencies, including the Berkshire County District Attorney’s Office, have information about known or reasonably suspected diverters of prescription pain medication. To the extent that they lawfully and prudently can do so, those agencies will make that information available for inclusion in the Meditech alert system. The law enforcement agencies will not, however, have access to the patient information stored in the Meditech alert system.
The Community Pain Management Project will work with local law enforcement agencies to assure prompt response to pain medication diversion situations that require police intervention. The Community Pain Management Project will also assist in arranging for expert consulting services to the law enforcement agencies about issues related to controlled substances to the extent that such services can be provided without compromising a provider’s duties to his or her patients.
An increasing number of individuals making their way through the criminal
court system in Berkshire County (as is true elsewhere) suffer from the
consequences of substance abuse and addiction. Many of those need the
assistance of the courts and the court probation offices in managing their
substance abuse and addiction problems. The Community Pain Management Project
has assisted the local district court in developing a consent form for
probationers to sign that will allow local practitioners to provide appropriate
information to the probation office when a probationer requires controlled
substance medication and to otherwise facilitate in managing a
probationer/patient with a substance abuse or addiction