CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Prescription drug abuse and debate on making a decongestant sometimes used in meth production prescription only dominated Tuesday's meeting of the Kanawha County Substance Abuse Task Force.
Members said they hope to have recommendations on these two topics completed by Thanksgiving.
David Potters, executive director of the West Virginia Board of Pharmacy, discussed the Controlled Substance Monitoring Program and where people are most likely to get prescription pills for non-medical purposes.
The monitoring program, according to a handout, has collected information since 2004 and went through a system upgrade this year.
Potters said when it comes to prescription pill abuse, doctor shopping is less of a problem than the culture of sharing.
"We hear so much about doctor shopping, rogue patients, rogue doctors but the pie chart shows that 54.2 percent of prescription drugs are given from a friend or relative for free," Potters said, noting 16.6 percent are bought or stolen from a friend or family member.
According to the graph, which tracked pain reliever abuse for 2011, 1.9 percent of drugs were received from more than one doctor.
Potters said the top two drugs in West Virginia are hydrocodone, a powerful painkiller, and alprazolam, an anti-anxiety medication.
He said the advisory committee recommended to the board of pharmacy to make pseudoephedrine available by prescription only, make Tramadol, which he explained is an opioid antagonist, scheduled or tracked as a drug of concern, and track mothers for treatment of newborns and breastfed babies.