COLUMBIA, Mo. - In mid-October, new regulations will require doctors to physically write out a prescription for medication like Vicodin and Oxycodone, now classified as schedule-two, or C-2, drugs.
Bill Morrissey at Kilgore's Pharmacy explained why these new stipulations could be a response to the increased prescription drug abuse in recent years.
"For government entities to be taking this action I think is definitely tells us how serious of an issue it is," said Morrissey.
If it's any indication what C-2 drugs are like, drugs like heroin are C-1, meaning it has zero medical use.
"C-2 is basically the strongest controlled, legally prescribed substance," Morrissey said.
He said patients will no longer be able to get refills over the phone or using emailed prescriptions. What that means is patients will have to provide a paper written prescription signed by a doctor, not a nurse or physician's assistant, but a doctor you have to go to every month.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2012, seven million people abused legal drugs. That averages almost three percent of Americans. They also report one in seven high school seniors has abused Vicodin. More than 70 percent of them said they got the pills from someone else.
The new regulations will also put harsher stipulations on how many pills a doctor can prescribe each month.
The DEA reports drugs like Vicodin and Oxycotin are among the most addictive prescribed medications.