A community reacts to governor's prescription pill plan

It's the announcement many people around the state were waiting to hear. Governor Haslam announced his goals for the future, which involved tackling prescription pill abuse.

When Governor Haslam rolled out his list of goals, people around the community listened. Each goal is geared toward ending prescription medication abuse.

Mac's Pharmacy sees a steady stream of customers each day filling prescriptions.

As prescription drug abuse and addiction continues to grow, they have to be extra careful.

"No one asks to be in an accident or some sort of trauma situation. And they will need those medications for a short period of time. But getting adequate and accurate amounts of that medication is going to be very important to curb that abuse, instead of leading to addiction," said pharmacist Morgan Honeycutt.

He explains to everyone who comes through the doors the signs of medication abuse, and with the help of a statewide database, he keeps tabs on people looking to fill a prescription.

RELATED: Governor rolls out plan to tackle prescription pill problem

After hearing Governor Haslam's plans for the future, he breathed a sigh of relief.

"One of the things that jumped out to me, was that one of his goals was early intervention. Early detection. Early treatment. All of those things are very important. So that we catch these patients when they get that early pain of addiction, and give them the help they need so they don't travel further along that path," said Honeycutt.

The governor also tackled addiction. He is looking to have a drug coalition in every county so there is more help in more locations.

This is something that coalitions like "Stand In The Gap" have been shooting for.

"You like to think you are making a difference. But the difference can't be made until the problem is revealed," said Edwin Robertson with "Stand In The Gap."

There is still a long way to go, but these goals are furthering the conversation. However, there is a lot of gray area to sort through.

"There are no requirements for some doctors to do an MRI or an Xray before they prescribe a medication. Like let's say pain medication for let's say a back injury. Pain is very subjective. You can't just look at a person and just tell what their pain is," said District Attorney General Lori Phillips-Jones.

A long path still lies ahead, but the plan is bringing the medical community together. It's a plan Honeycutt thinks can only help.

"The way I see it, the more eyes we have together on treating patients, patients are going to get better care. And pharmacists are gonna work better with physicians, and the physicians will be working better with pharmacists. We will have more access to health care through collaborative practice. That way we can provide them with the best care possible," said Honeycutt.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch praised the plan as well. He said it's a good comprehensive plan and a good effort to tackle the problem.


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