The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

May 3, 2013

Alabama Legislature cracks down on painkiller abuse

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Legislature has passed a three-bill package aimed at combating the abuse of prescriptions for painkillers.

The bills won approval in the Senate on Thursday after passing the House earlier in the session. They now go to the governor for review.

One bill enhances the tracking of prescriptions for painkillers. Another gives new authority to the state Board of Medical Examiners to crack down on abuse. The third allows law enforcement to prosecute patients who visit several doctors to deceptively obtain multiple prescriptions for the same painkillers.

Republican Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster said the Legislature needed to act because studies have shown that one in five Americans have abused prescription drugs.

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