• 70°

Pill mill fight must start now

The statistics are alarming. The stories behind them are heartbreaking.

Unintentional drug poisoning — most of which would be considered overdoses — kills four Ohioans every day. The national rate of unintentional drug deaths is 72 each day.

The problem is that many of the drugs that cause these deaths are being wrongfully prescribed by individuals essentially masquerading as doctors. Although these individuals may have the degree, they are far more concerned with money than medicine.

Although it maybe wasn’t quite as powerful or immediate as many would like, Gov. Ted Strickland traveled across the state last week declaring he is ready to get involved with battling pill mills and unethical doctors.

Strickland signed an executive order to create the Ohio Prescription Drug Task Force, which will expand the state’s role and establish a more comprehensive approach to fighting prescription drug abuse in the state.

The governor has proposed a variety of ideas that could make a difference including legislation requiring pain clinics to be licensed and calling on doctors and pharmacists to use the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System before they dispense any sort of opiate.

Strickland said the task force will report back to him in about six weeks with suggested changes that could be immediately implemented.

We applaud the fact that the governor is going to make this a priority and urge him to follow through with his plans to push for changes on a national level.

Ohio won’t be able to make true progress until this epidemic is addressed across the country.

Taking action now may help prevent someone else from becoming a statistic.