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Annual C. Everett Koop Addiction Medicine Symposium

Out from Under the Influence: Keeping Patients & the Public Safe from Medication Intoxication

This year's annual NH Addiction Medicine Conference will bring together healthcare providers from diverse disciplines with colleagues in law enforcement to explore the clinical and public health challenges associated with intoxication by prescribed medications as well as other substances. Its not just about opioids and benzodiazepines: on January 1st, 2013 a new law went into effect in NH that means individuals can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) due to impairment by any medication or substance, including non-controlled medications such as diphenhydramine or gabapentin.

State police report stopping increasing numbers of drivers impaired by non-controlled medications, in addition to controlled medications and illicit substances. The conference will discuss common non-controlled and controlled medications that can cause impairment, explore medical-legal implications of prescribing, describe best practices to keep patients and the public safe and to identify substance use disorders, will explain how special law enforcement personnel (drug recognition experts) evaluate drivers for impairment and identify the substances they have been using, and will engage attendees in discussion about the roles of healthcare providers, the public and law enforcement in keeping the public safe from harm in an age of drug use and over medication.

Last Updated: 10/26/13