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U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
State hopes tracking pain pills will reduce overdoses
State hopes tracking pain pills will reduce overdoses

A database in Kentucky that has tracked potentially dangerous and addictive prescriptions dispensed in the state for the past 15 years has become a national model by helping significantly reduce so-called doctor-shopping for pain drugs. Federal data show the state has dropped from the second-highest abuser of prescription drugs such as OxyContin and Percocet to 31st. But what it and other states cannot show is that such programs cut down on overdose deaths from all legal and illegal drugs, a lesson not lost on Maryland as its joins every other state in launching its own prescription drug monitoring system. Maryland hopes to succeed where others may have failed, and Gov. Martin...