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    Gil Kerlikowske discusses efforts to tackle prescription drug abuse

    8:17 PM, Jul 18, 2013   |    comments
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    (Photo: Thinkstock)

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - Prescription drug abuse is a nationwide problem, affecting Arkansas teens at an alarming rate. For many, the drug use occurs for teens in their earlier years.

    Programs and policy reforms have been created to tackle the issue. Law enforcement, health care professionals and others were on hand for this year's Prescription Drug Summit at the Statehouse Convention Center. It was a chance for convention-goers to talk about the issues and needs in their respective communities.

    Gil Kerlikowske, Director of the National Drug Control Policy, said one big change to address the issue is a prescription drug electronic monitoring program for Arkansas.

    "Helps a doctor find out if a patient is going to too many doctors or helps a licensing board find out if a doctor is prescribing too much," Kerlikowske said.

    Other areas include educating teens on proper medication disposal and enforcement.

    Nationwide, the number of people currently abusing prescription drugs had decreased. For young adults, it's fallen 14 percent from 2 million in 2010 to 1.7 million in 2011.

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