Prescription drugs have various potentials for abuse, this is why these substances have very specific requirements for distribution, acquisition, storage, security, inventory and even disposal. These regulations apply to everyone who creates, distributes, uses and conducts research with these drugs.
Drug possession can be a crime charged in court. However, some states in the United States may have different versions of the same law, such as in North Carolina.
In fact, North Carolina’s criminal law statutes state that it is illegal to possess controlled substances in the state. However, the penalties for such possession depend on the kind of drug, the amount of the drug, and if the individual has other convictions. These people and groups have to follow the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in their specific states, as they may have specific rules.
A Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is something that states use to address problems on prescription drug abuse, addiction and diversion. It may also serve other purposes such as the support access to legitimate medical use of controlled substances, to identify and deter or prevent drug abuse, and facilitate and encourage the identification, intervention with and treatment of persons addicted to prescription drugs.
According to the National Alliance of Model State Drug Laws (NAMSDL), the PDMP is also a statewide electronic database that collects designated data on substances that is dispensed in the state. It is housed by a specified statewide regulatory, administrative or law enforcement agency.
The State of North Carolina has created a Drug Control Unit (NC-DCU) within the Division of Mental Health. This is in response to a need for improved regulation of prescription drugs.
This state-wide reporting system was established to improve North Carolina’s ability to identify and respond to people who abuse and misuse prescription drugs. It is also meant to assist clinicians in identifying and referring for treatment patients that are misusing the said substances.