SAN ANTONIO - It's a different kind of drug battle here in the Lone Star State. 'Doctor shopping' is a rising problem that has been difficult to combat. But that's about to change.
"We're going to be able to find out if they've gotten that same prescription that same day or a week ago," said Mario de los Santos, a local pharmacist.
Spotting prescription drug abusers is not something that has come easy for pharmacists like de los Santos.
"We're talking about hydrocodone; we're talking about Alprazolam; we're talking about Soma." said the pharmacist. "Those are the three most popular ones that are being abused."
After forty years in the business he said he has developed a sixth sense knowing who might be "doctor shopping".
"They go from pharmacy to pharmacy and getting the same prescription filled," said de los Santos - never leaving a paper trail behind...until now.
"This moderator program will allow us to help combat that problem," said Jason Reyes with DPS.
An online database called P.A.T. or Prescription Access in Texas, is designed to spot drug dealers and abusers, essentially keeping track of prescribed painkillers and other controlled substances.
"Right now we're just plainly supplying DPS with information," said de los Santos.
Pharmacies are doing that by submitting a report with doctor/patient information for every high profile prescription drug filled.
"We're actually going full throttle this month," said Reyes.
P.A.T. will eventually become a requirement for doctors and pharmacists, making their jobs a lot easier.
"By having a database where we can access it on the computer, we'll be able to get that information and stop it right there in its tracks," said de los Santos.