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Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs


To address the issue of prescription drug overdoses, many states have created prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMP), which use databases to track prescriptions of controlled substances (drugs for which manufacture, possession, or use is regulated by the government). PDMPs are designed to prevent the misuse of prescription drugs that are prone to abuse—such as opioid painkillers and sedatives like benzodiazepines—by making doctors aware of the prescription histories of their patients. Almost all states now have operational PDMPs. These range from programs with limited staffing and outreach ability to large, well-staffed programs that make extensive use of the data they collect.

Primary Toolkit:

Epidemiology Toolkit

Keyword Area:

Epidemiology, Prescription Drugs, Substance Abuse, Surveillance


Institutional Author:




The NACCHO Toolbox is a repository of available resources to help local public health practitioners. Tools are produced by local, state, and federal agencies, as well as academic institutions and other stakeholders. The contents of this Toolbox are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect any official recommendations of NACCHO. NACCHO makes no express or implied warranty with respect to the contents and disclaims liability for any damages arising from or connected to the use of the material in this Toolbox.