ATLANTA -- A bill that would create a state electronic database to track prescriptions is drawing kudos from the White House drug czar.
Gil Kerlikowske, on a down-South visit to talk about a spike in prescription drug abuse, said such a database can help Georgia deflect the growing attention of rogue drug-dealing doctors.
“Prescription drug deaths surpass heroin and cocaine deaths,” said Kerlikowske, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, speaking by phone during his Atlanta visit between stops at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Capitol.
The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., area is the nationwide epicenter of so-called “pill mills,” he explained. Those are clinics run by unethical doctors who will write prescriptions for drug abusers.
“But clearly, as Florida begins to clamp down on pill mills, they’re going to look for other places,” Kerlikowske said, such as neighboring Georgia. Drug abusers are most often seeking painkillers such as OxyContin, he said. Overdoses can lead to addiction or, in more than 500 Georgia cases last year, death.
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