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Indiana Medical Licensing Board Considers Tighter Rules for Prescribing Pain Killers

The Indiana Medical Licensing Board is considering tighter rules that doctors would have to follow when prescribing pain killers.
The Indiana Medical Licensing Board is considering tighter rules that doctors would have to follow when prescribing pain killers.

Physicians would need to conduct annual toxicology tests as part of a state effort to crack down on prescription drug abuse.

The CDC says about 100 people a day overdose on different types of pain killers in the US.  Prescription drug abuse is something that's become more common in the last decade.

Jerri Lerch, the Executive Director of Allen County Drug and Alcohol Consortium says prescription drug abuse is something that more and more teens are starting to use.

"It's approaching the 10% number for our high school seniors, that have at least experimented with it.  That's 1 in 10 that are putting themselves at danger."

Huntington Coroner, Phillip Zahm says prescription drug abuse is something he's seen quite a bit of.

"In 2012, we had 11 cases.  It was in 2012 that we started identifying that as a big concern, so we created a task force to look at the issue."

Since the Drug Task Force Initiative, those deaths have decreased in Huntington.

"I think that as a result of that, and a result of the Attorney General's task force, and they're going after the doctor's who are truly abusing that issue, I think it's great."

The numbers are staggering.  The rise in overdose deaths in the US have increased by 300% since 1999.  Chiropractor Dr. Busch doesn't prescribe medication at his practice, but he explains how a patient could become addicted.

"As people begin to take those over time they start to become a little bit more accustomed to them, and over time they start to need a little bit more of that medication for it to have the same effect as it did prior to that."

Indiana Board members discussed the pros and cons of making the drug-testing requirement a recommendation for the first year before it would become mandatory in 2015. 

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