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New Course Allows Law Enforcement Access to the Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

The Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) has developed a 14-hour Advanced Prescription Drug Diversion Investigator PDMP Certificate Course to provide Arkansas law enforcement agencies with the knowledge and skills they need to have access to the Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP) and make them better equipped to battle prescription drug abuse throughout the State. This course will be offered for the first time today and tomorrow, February 17-18, 2016, at CJI’s campus in Little Rock. 

According to the 2016 Arkansas Drug Threat Assessment published by the Gulf Coast HIDTA, pharmaceutical drug abuse along with related overdoses and overdose deaths continue to be a major problem in Arkansas, particularly with young adults. The assessment specifically identifies Oxycodone and Methadone, in combination with other drugs, as major contributors to pharmaceutical drug abuse in the State. With access to the Arkansas PDMP, advanced prescription drug diversion investigators will be able to use the monitoring program to enhance their investigative capability and reduce the availability of prescription drugs for illicit purposes.

The Advanced Prescription Drug Diversion Investigator PDMP Certificate Course was created to meet law enforcement certification requirements established by Act 901 of 2015. This Act, which was supported by a coalition of health, medical, pharmaceutical, education and law enforcement professionals, allows law enforcement agencies that have successfully completed this prescription drug diversion certification course to have access to the Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP).

“With access to the Arkansas PDMP, law enforcement will be better equipped to battle and deter prescription drug abuse in communities throughout the State,” said Dr. Cheryl May, Director of the Criminal Justice Institute. “We are grateful to Governor Asa Hutchinson and his staff, the leadership in the legislature—especially State Senator Jeremy Hutchinson—and all legislators who supported this legislation. We are also tremendously grateful to the members of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Coordinating Council and Chair, Arkansas State Drug Director Denny Altes, for funding this important project. Collaboratively, we will provide law enforcement with another tool to help them mitigate the negative effects that prescription drug abuse can have on communities across our State.”

This course will provide an overall understanding of prescription drug abuse issues as well as the effective and appropriate use of the Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in drug diversion investigations.  Course topics include Prescription Drug Diversion; Investigating Diversion Cases; Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs and Arkansas Law Enforcement; Ethical Considerations; Certified Law Enforcement Prescription Drug Diversion Investigator’s Use of the Arkansas PDMP; and the Impact of Prescription Abuse in Arkansas.

ABOUT THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE INSTITUTE
The Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) is a nationally unique educational entity that provides programs and services designed to enhance the proficiency and professionalism within the Arkansas law enforcement community. As a division of the University of Arkansas System, the Institute delivers education and advanced training across Arkansas in progressive areas of criminal justice, including law enforcement leadership and management, forensic sciences, computer technologies, illicit drug investigations, and school, traffic, and officer safety. By providing these services, CJI assists law enforcement agencies in positively impacting not only public safety, but also the economic viability of communities across the State. In 1997, the Institute established the National Center for Rural Law enforcement (NCRLE) to extend many of the Institute’s programs and services throughout rural America.

For more information, contact:
Beth Green
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Criminal Justice Institute, University of Arkansas System
Office: (501) 570-8045; bagreen@cji.edu