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NC report tackles prescription drug abuse

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

General Assembly researchers say North Carolina could do a better job training health care providers and watching how prescription drugs are consumed to help reduce the growing number of unintentional overdoses.

The legislative watchdog agency called the Program Evaluation Division released a report Wednesday recommending that controlled substances monitoring and education be strengthened. Report authors say that can include requiring statewide prescription guidelines for licensing boards for doctors, nurses and others.

The study also suggests pharmacists and doctors use more frequently a database that could point out potential abuse or doctor-shopping for drugs.

The division says the rate of unintentional poisoning deaths in 2012 in North Carolina was nearly three times the rate about a decade ago. The number of deaths is close to exceeding motor vehicle deaths.

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