Ore. 5th-highest for prescription painkiller abuse

PORTLAND — Oregon ranks fifth nationally for prescription painkiller abuse, and has the highest rate in the country among 18 to 25 year-olds.

The Oregonian reports those figures were among the numbers presented at a drug abuse prevention summit in Portland on Monday that brought together top state and federal officials, physicians, pharmacists and law enforcement.

In Oregon, a prescription drug monitoring program, approved by state lawmakers last session, is scheduled to begin operating in April.

The program will be Web-based and available to physicians and pharmacists to determine who is prescribing and dispensing drugs, and how much patients receive.

The information will updated once a week, and contain a three-year prescription history on patients.

— Associated press

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