ATLANTA (AP) — A new program designed to combat prescription drug abuse in Georgia might run out of money to operate only a few months after it gets under way in June.
Georgia lawmakers didn't appropriate any funding for the prescription monitoring program when they passed legislation to create it in 2011, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The program involves an electronic database that tracks prescriptions.
A two-year, $400,000 federal grant that pays startup costs for a new prescription monitoring program grant expires Sept. 30.
There were versions of legislation in the House and Senate that would have corrected the problem, but a final version died without a vote before the session ended earlier this year.
Officials say prescription drug abuse causes or contributes to the overdose deaths of 11 Georgians every week.
Georgia is among the last six states in the nation to put a prescription monitoring program in place, according to the National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws. The purpose is to help flag addicts who amass dangerous amounts of drugs by switching from doctor to doctor, and help authorities identify clinics that issue suspiciously high amounts of prescription narcotics.
Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.