April 22, 2013

Legislature’s inaction puts drug effort at risk


Associated Press

ATLANTA — 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.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (http://bit.ly/a1eK) that 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.

A two-year, $400,000 federal grant that pays startup costs for a new prescription monitoring program grant expires Sept. 30.

There were versions of legislation in the House and Senate that would have corrected the problem, but a final version died without a vote before the session ended earlier this year.

Officials say prescription drug abuse causes or contributes to the overdose deaths of 11 Georgians every week.

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Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com