Drug Diversion

Puts patients at risk for healthcare-associated infections

When prescription medicines are obtained or used illegally, it is called drug diversion. Healthcare providers who steal prescription medicines or controlled substances such as opioids for their own use put patients at risk.

This can result in several types of patient harm, including:

  • Substandard care delivered by an impaired healthcare provider
  • Denial of essential pain medication or therapy
  • Risks of infection (e.g., with hepatitis C virus or bacterial pathogens) if a provider tampers with injectable drugs

Addiction to prescription narcotics has reached epidemic proportions and is a major driver of drug diversion.

Outbreaks Associated with Drug Diversion

CDC and state and local health departments have assisted in the investigation of infection outbreaks stemming from drug diversion activities that involved healthcare providers who tampered with injectable drugs.

source: https://www.cdc.gov/injectionsafety/drugdiversion/index.html

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