Governors urge response to prescription drug abuse

AP News
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Posted: Apr 14, 2011 10:21 AM
Governors urge response to prescription drug abuse

Two Southern governors are urging Congress to tackle the rise in prescription drug abuse, saying the problem is destroying communities in their states.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear told lawmakers Thursday that the illegal distribution of prescription drugs has exploded in their states in recent years, hurting families and burdening police.

A House panel is hearing from the governors, Obama administration officials and families to discuss ways of targeting so-called "pill mills." Prescription drug abuse is the fastest-growing type of drug abuse in the nation.

Federal surveys estimate that more than 5 million Americans abuse pain killers, and the number of emergency room visits tied to prescription drug abuse doubled between 2004 and 2009. Much of the problem is centered in Florida.