Tenn. striving to curb pain pill epidemic

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tennessee's death rate from drug overdoses has nearly tripled since 1999, a trend that state officials hurrying to tackle with expanded regulations.

The proposals include one from Gov. Bill Haslam that would require doctors and pharmacists to consult a controlled substance database before writing or dispensing such prescriptions. State Sen. Ken Yager of Harriman tells The Tennessean he believes new state regulations will help reduce drug overdose deaths.

The legislature last year passed Yager's bill that imposed unprecedented regulations on pain management clinics.

The efforts come as a 2010 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that Tennessee ranked eighth nationally in drug overdose deaths.

For families, those statistics represent the deaths of loved ones who lost their addiction to such drugs as hydrocodone and oxycodone.


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  • by Sammie on Jan 30, 2012 at 03:39 AM
    Something needs to be done. It not only kills people but it is a huge strain on families. Unless, you have had someone close to you with the problem you can't understand. These Doctors and "pain clinics" need to be heald accountable and shut down and charges pressed against them. Its just drug dealers hiding behind a white coat and in our familes case, Tenncare was footing the bill. You shouldn't be able to walk into a doctors office and tell the doctor exactly what and how much you need.
  • by Charles Harmon Location: CLINTON, TN on Jan 29, 2012 at 05:24 PM
    I agree that there is an epidemic, however, I fell 3 stories off of a ladder and require pain medication to work and function. I pesonally think that as with cigarettes, alcohol and other addictions that personal responsibility has been ignored. I am not suggesting that it's not an addiction and once addicted, the user can do it alone, I am suggesting that the individuals take responsiblility and put them in jail or in rehabilitation rather than make it impossible for us that use them as prescribed. It is punishing the innocent for the crimes of the guilty. I'm not cold blooded. I am TRULY sorry about all the people and their
    families that have had an overdose in their life. I can't begin to imagine your suffering. I agree that their are clinics out there that arent doing right, and they should be punished. I'm just tired of the "I can't help it" excuses and societies view on addictions.
  • by Julie Location: Roane Co. on Jan 29, 2012 at 12:55 PM
    This has effected my family,and it is good to hear that the Goverment is finnaly going to try and do something about it.I put half the blame on them anyways.Its like anybody can go and get these drugs at these pain clincs and they not need them,just so they can sell them on the streets.Even the elder people,it helps pay there bills and they dont realize its hurting other familys with addiction problems.

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