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State Official Aims to Lower Prescription Drug Abuse

Patrick Morrisey, W. Va. Attorney General
Janet Kunicki
West Virginia Public Broadcasting

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey plans to purchase incinerators for the disposal of unwanted and expired prescription medication in a state that leads the nation in the rate of overdose deaths.

Morrisey announced the move Tuesday as part of an initiative to reduce prescription drug use in West Virginia by at least 25 percent.

According to Morrisey's office, the incinerators will cost $6,300 apiece, paid for by the attorney general's Public Health Trust.

Morrisey also urged doctors to regularly monitor patients' use of opioid drugs and asked pharmacists to verify the legitimacy of each prescription, patient and prescriber as well as the proper dispensing of medications. The proposal doesn't involve seriously or terminally ill patients.

Morrisey says West Virginia had nearly 700 drug overdose deaths last year.

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