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State Hopes New Data Base Will Help Curb Drug Abuse

Tennessee is working to renew efforts to curb drug abuse throughout the state in 2013. According to the latest statistics, Tennessee ranks second in the nation for over-utilization of prescription pain medications. Adults 18 to 25 have the highest rate of prescription drug abuse. For the last two years, unintentional drug overdose is the number one cause of death in Tennessee over motor vehicle accidents, homicides or suicides. In 2011, more than 1,000 people died from drug overdoses in Tennessee. A new state database, which is now a requirement for all pharmacies to use, reveals which Tennesseans have prescriptions for painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone. With the new changes all doctors will have to check the database before prescribing drugs like pain killers and valium. Pharmacists will also have to step up the frequency they update their database. The state says if a doctor or pharmacist finds that a patient has been abusing the system it will have to be determined if that person has a drug problem. They likely will be referred to some type of counseling.