Governors Unite to Fight Rx Drug Abuse
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US governors are banding together to fight a common enemy: prescription drug abuse. The National Governors Association has created the Prescription Drug Academy policy organization—co-chaired by Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R0—to study the prescription drug abuse epidemic and develop best practice for state governments to combat the scourge. During the program's first year, the group will develop policies and procedures in Colorado, Alabama, plus five other states to be chosen by an independent panel in a competitive bidding process; seven more states will be added in the second year. A National Governors Association policy team will conduct field visits to all seven initial states and work with governors' offices and state health and criminal justice officials to tackle problems including addiction itself, pharmacy robberies, pill mills and doctor shopping. Findings and case studies from all the states will be included on Governors Association web page. "The abuse of prescription drugs is growing and can now be seen in communities of all sizes throughout our country," says Hickenlooper. "This is a serious problem that is claiming far too many victims. We look forward to working with Gov. Bentley and the National Governors Association to create strategies that will help states deal with this issue."