Enia Brice scrolls through her phone showing off favorite photos of her daughter Lensey Wallace. Growing up in Catoosa County, Wallace was a good student, a softball player and active in church. "My middle daughter, Lensey, she met Jon in high school and they were high school sweethearts,” said Brice. “They were planning to get married." Wallace and her fiancé Jonathan Tinker welcomed their daughter Lily into the world in 2009. Brice says the young family was incredibly happy, but then a motorcycle accident nearly cost Tinker his leg.
Pharmacy officials say robberies are occurring with greater frequency in Georgia. Ironically, the officials link the increase to the state’s recent success in cracking down on the scourge of “pill mills’’ in the state. Pill mills are clinics or doctor’s offices that prescribe oxycodone and other powerful narcotics without a legitimate medical purpose. Georgia became a pill mill magnet after neighboring states, including Florida, passed tougher laws regulating pain clinics.
Last week, the FDA recommended tighter controls on how doctors prescribe the most commonly used narcotic painkillers. The move follows a long debate over whether the drugs, which contain the narcotic hydrocodone, should be controlled as tightly as more powerful painkillers such as OxyContin. Rick Allen, director of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, said Monday that he believes the switch could help decrease overdoses and addictions to painkillers.
Officials with the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency say a new database is expected to help doctors and law enforcement keep tabs on prescription drug abuse. Agency director Rick Allen said the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program has been available to pharmacists and physicians for less than a month, but already, 2,000 medical professionals have submitted prescriptions.
State officials and lawmakers have launched a campaign aimed at addressing the issue of prescription drug abuse among teenagers in the state. Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities spokesman Matt Carrothers Tuesday said that state officials and youth from Catoosa and Gwinnett counties met at the Capitol to launch the project, titled "Generation Rx."
Savannah area police and sheriff's deputies say they rounded more than 200 pounds of expired and unwanted drugs as part of a national sweep. The prescription and over-the-counter drugs were collected Saturday as part of an event sponsored by the national Drug Enforcement Administration.
A new program designed to combat prescription drug abuse in Georgia might run out of money to operate only a few months after it gets under way in June. Georgia lawmakers didn't appropriate any funding for the prescription monitoring program when they passed legislation to create it in 2011. The program involves an electronic database that tracks prescriptions.
Federal agents raided a pain clinic in Tucker Tuesday -- the second time in three weeks -- and arrested a doctor. Officials said Dr. Michael Assevero was charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone during the raid at Southern Health Management.