Prescribing in Prison
Minimizing Psychotropic Drug Diversion in Correctional Practice
Patricia D. Pilkinton, MD, James C. Pilkinton, MD
Journal of Correctional Health Care
Correctional facilities are a major provider of mental health care throughout the United States. In spite of the numerous benefits of providing care in this setting, clinicians are sometimes concerned about entering into correctional care because of uncertainty in prescribing practices. This article provides an introduction to prescription drug use, abuse, and diversion in the correctional setting, including systems issues in prescribing, commonly abused prescription medications, motivation for and detection of prescription drug abuse, and the use of laboratory monitoring. By understanding the personal and systemic factors that affect prescribing habits, the clinician can develop a more rewarding correctional practice and improve care for inmates with mental illness.