Authorities in Forsyth County are setting up what they describe as Georgia's first "drug take back box" for unwanted prescription drugs. Sheriff's officials say the purpose of the box is to give people a way to dispose of unwanted and outdated prescription drugs from households.
Attorney General Sam Olens is starring in a new public service advertisement about the dangers of improperly using prescription drugs. Olens said it's essential to educate citizens about the dangers lurking in medicine cabinets to combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse.
Georgia officials are working on a prescription drug database they expect will help with what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls an epidemic of overdose deaths. By next January, state law requires the new database to be online so doctors and pharmacists can track patients' prescriptions and spot potential abuse.
Georgia has been awarded a $400,000 grant to implement a prescription drug monitoring program. Thirty-seven states have prescription drug monitoring systems. Georgia has passed legislation to establish the program, but has not designated funding for it.
A comprehensive physician-led effort to fight the spread of prescription drug abuse and its destructive supply chain launched Tuesday in Gainesville. The initiative aims to attack the problem through education and legislation.
An analysis of autopsy data by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation showed a 10 percent increase in the number of deaths where a prescription-drug overdose was the cause. More than 700 people died from overdoses in 2010, and three-quarters of those were the result of prescription drugs, mostly narcotic pain relievers.