Challenges in bottling up prescription drug abuse

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Montana recorded more than 300 deaths from prescription drug overdoses in 2010 and 2011.

In 2013, the number declined to just over 100.

The statistics would suggest the state is gaining the upper hand on prescription drug abuse.

For about the last two years, Montana has required that all prescriptions for painkillers be registered with the state Board of Pharmacy.

Yet there's criticism that Montana's prescription drug work is incomplete, specifically concerning the prescription drug registry. County attorneys say the drug registry is so wrapped up in judicial red tape, such as privacy laws, that it's difficult for law enforcement to use.

The Billings Gazette reports (http://bit.ly/Vdaj5d) that Wyoming law enforcement has much easier access to its state prescription drug registry.

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Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com

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