Prescription-Drug Abuse Called Today’s Greatest Drug Threat


North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper supports expanding access to state computer records identifying people with prescriptions for certain drugs, says the Charlotte Observer. Cooper called prescription-drug abuse the biggest drug threat today. He spoke yesterday at a meeting with law enforcement leaders from North Carolina and 25 other states to discuss better ways to fight illegal drugs.

More young people are abusing prescription medications than any other drug except marijuana, he said. Deaths in North Carolina associated with prescription-drug abuse rose from 798 in 2008 to 826 in 2009. The possibility of granting more access to the prescription drug records has generated some recent controversy over privacy. The state sheriff’s association called for access to the electronic records this month at a legislative health care committee meeting. Groups including the ACLU and the American Pain Foundation said law enforcement shouldn’t be poking around people’s medicine cabinets.

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