Relationship between drug morbidity and mortality and the DEA's scheduling of drugs
Albright, V. A. (2010, November). Relationship between drug morbidity and mortality and the DEA's scheduling of drugs. Presented at American Public Health Association Annual Meeting & Exposition, Denver, CO.
DEA drug schedule classification decisions are required to be made on criteria that include the potential for abuse; other criteria include currently accepted medical uses and international treaties. This paper explores the relationship between the adverse effects of drugs (measured in morbidity and mortality) and the assignment of drugs to DEA schedules. Measures of drug-related morbidity and mortality are collected by SAMHSA's Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), an extensive and detailed survey of emergency room visits and deaths that involve the use of any and all types of drugs, medications, pharmaceuticals, etc., taken for any reason. Given the limited resources in the nation to combat and treat the harm resulting from drug abuse, it is important that the health and enforcement communities work together to gain momentum and synergies. The goal of the analysis is to assess how well drug enforcement priorities align with health consequences of drug misuse and abuse. This is a controversial topic with far-reaching consequences for the funding of both drug enforcement and substance abuse intervention programs. Sentencing in drug-related convictions is also highly affected.