Captain Daniel Alioto, Commander of the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office Vice Narcotics Division.
According to Maryland's Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in Maryland. Between 2007 and 2010, treatment admissions related to abuse of prescription opiates in Maryland increased 106 percent, poison control calls related to oxycodone increased 250 percent, and in 2010, 55 percent of all intoxication deaths in Maryland involved a prescription opiate.
Officials say the program will link public health and public safety systems and provide for information-sharing which will enable professionals to track use of prescription drugs and recognize trends indicating abuse. The new system will detect individuals who "doctor shop" to accumulate prescription drugs which are later sold illegally. Law enforcement officials, with a subpoena, will have the capability to draw on information from the system and follow up with appropriate criminal investigations.
"I understand and accept this tremendous opportunity to be a part of the advisory board," said Captain Alioto in a prepared statement. "I am excited to get started on the prescription drug monitoring program as this will be a major tool utilized by law enforcement as we move ahead combating the growing prescription drug abuse issues."