COSAM Opposes Allowing Law Enforcement Access to PDMP Data Without Court Approval
On April 27th, the Colorado Society of Addiction Medicine (COSAM) sent a letter to Director Ronne Hines of the Division of Professions and Occupations, a division within the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), ahead of their stakeholder event focusing on the impact of potential changes to the state’s prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP). These changes include allowing law enforcement to access PDMP information without obtaining court approval prior.
In the letter, COSAM cautioned that allowing law enforcement unrestricted access to the PDMP could compromise privacy and decrease treatment involvement. Specifically, COSAM noted that individuals with addiction are a population vulnerable to adverse interactions with criminal-legal system. As a result, many individuals with addiction would likely be uncomfortable allowing law enforcement unrestricted access to their prescription records. Further, COSAM emphasized concerns that this change to the PDMP could have a negative impact on treatment initiation and retention at a time when just 20% of Americans with substance use disorder receive treatment. Instead, COSAM recommended that law enforcement access to PDMP data remain contingent upon court review and approval.