Indiana lawmakers fight for ways to end prescription drug abuse

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By James Gherardi

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 17, 2014)– Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, along with Indiana lawmakers hosted the 5th Annual Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Symposium Friday.

There, state law makers met to find ways to curb the “epidemic” of prescription drug abuse in the state.  According to the Indiana Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force, more people abuse prescription drugs than cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens and inhalants combined. Additionally, one in five Indiana teens has admitted to using prescription drugs.

Friday, lawmakers announced several existing state initiatives to curb the abuse problem, including enhanced reporting requirements to state’s prescription drug monitoring database, as well as more oversight for opioid prescribing.  Zoeller said the initiatives are paying off.  Since December 2013, Indiana has seen the number of opioids being prescribed drop by 11 percent.

State lawmakers said Friday though that there is much work left to be done.

“If you look at the statistics, where most of them are getting their drugs is from their medicine cabinet at home, the family prescriptions and so on,” said Sen. Pat Miller. “So as we address these, obviously the answers aren’t always easy and they don’t always come fast. But we’re moving forward and I’m pleased with the direction Indiana’s going.”

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