US, UK Zero in on Illegal Prescription Drug Abuse

'These drugs are coming from inside our homes,' expert warns
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2008 1:09 PM CST
Some doctors needed to improve their repeat prescription systems so that the amount of drugs that patients were taking could be monitored and that fresh supplies would only be approved if they were medically...   (Index Stock)
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(Newser) – American and British officials have launched campaigns to curb the illegal use of prescription drugs. The target of the British effort is doctors who "mis-prescribe" high doses of painkillers and sleeping pills that officials say are proving dangerously addictive, the Guardian reports. Across the Atlantic, Washington is spearheading an initiative to alert parents to the new drug threat facing teens.

"This isn’t a problem of somebody selling drugs on the corner or in the back ally," one official told Voice of America. “These drugs are coming from our homes, our medicine cabinets." In Britain, a government inquiry found many doctors refilled prescriptions without seeing their patients, and called for better ways to assess patient need for drugs.