Could the Feds potentially use your prescription drug history to curtail your Second Amendment rights? In the wake of President Obama’s list of 23 executive orders — saying “If there’s even one thing that we can do to reduce this violence…” — the potential exists for the Department of Justice to use federal drug databases to screen for “mental illnesses.”
While the idea may sound far-fetched, state and federal agencies already cooperate to share information about your history of prescription drug use, including the use of medications for “psychiatric disorders.” Your doctor, your pharmacist, and your local emergency room already know a lot more than you think they know about your prescription drug history if you take a drug on the federal controlled substances list.
It began in 2005 when President George W. Bush signed the National All Schedules Prescription Electronic Reporting Act (NASPER) into law to combat illegal prescription drug abuse, including doc-shopping and so-called “pill mills.” State authorities began compiling databases of individuals who use certain drugs most often abused. Those databases are now being linked on the federal level.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance, a division of the Department of Justice, now sponsors a website to assist states in linking cross-referenced prescription information to catch suspected drug abusers who cross state lines. According to the Alliance of States with Prescription Monitoring Programs, the sheer volume of data they collect is stunning. In the data section for my home state of Ohio, the site claims it compiled 21 million prescription records on 11.4 million citizens in 2008.