MPBN, April 17, 2012

Maine has a drug problem. More specifically, a pill problem. As part of the effort to combat this growing type of substance abuse, Maine began operating a prescription drug monitoring program. Forty-one states now run these electronic databases. Pharmacies feed them regular updates on what controlled substances are being dispensed week-to-week or month-to-month. Roughly half of Maine's physicians are registered to use the database, the highest level of participation in the nation. But in the eight years since the system launched, abuse and diversion of pills has become more widespread and consistently high numbers of people are dying from overdoses.

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