U.S. Senator Bob Casey expressed his support on Tuesday, for new federal legislation that will tackle prescription drug abuse. One law recently introduced would require doctors and pharmacists to check a database before writing or filling a prescription.
Pennsylvania has a database, but it's only available to law enforcement and prosecutors call it "weak."
They say if these databases were open to doctors or pharmacies, it would be easier to see who's using what, when, where, and how frequently. The legislation includes training for prescribers, grants to educate residents, and support for states to track prescriptions.
Senator Casey said, statistics show there is a strong connection between prescription drug abusers and heroin users. "Teens and adults who used prescription painkillers non-medically were 19 times more likely to have gone on to use heroin in the last yearm" he said.