Tonight we continue our look into the opioid epidemic sweeping not only the nation, but the Four States. In our series “Shot in the Dark – Shedding Light on the Opioid Crisis,” we look at the pressure put on pharmacies to keep opioids out of the wrong hands.

Perhaps one of the biggest pressures on a pharmacist is telling the difference between someone looking to score opioids and someone who has become addicted and needs the help. Chad Isaacs of Stone’s Corner Pharmacy, says there are keys he uses to discern the difference.

“You have to use clinical judgement in a lot of cases and if something doesn’t look right you have to make some phone calls. You have to check some resources, and at that point you can make an informed decision that is good clinically and is also fair to the patient,” says Chad Isaacs.

Another way both doctors and pharmacists have tried to curb the opioid problem is to prescribe alternative medicine to help with pain. Such as anti-inflammatories or topical anesthetics.

“Sometimes it’s all about being proactive to make sure, I mean you have to be respectful and make sure that you present the options to the physician. Sometimes they have tried some things along the way and being cognizant of that and then give them some avenues. Especially compounding. Some other things we do, something that not everybody is aware of so sometimes we can offer some options that they haven’t been aware of in the past,” says Isaacs.

One thing isaacs believes will help going forward are pdmp’s and the sharing of information. 

“I think, aligning with other states to have those databases, especially when you are in the corner of a state, is very important. And so I think that if we’re able to share information in a more centralized way, it would help tremendously. It does add a little to the process of dispensing. But it’s worth while in the situations where you really would like to get some accurate information quickly,” says Isaacs.