We may joke about it from time to time, but Ohio's prescription pill abuse problem is real and serious. And you need to look no further than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for advice on how to rectify the situation. Well, you may need more than a helpful hint from Michaelangelo, which is why the Ohio legislature is working on a bill to address the state's semi-lawless and oftentimes dangerous pill mills.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that House Bill 93 passed unanimously and now heads to the Senate.
The bill would clamp down on the pill mills, the shady locales that tread just on the outskirts of the law and dish out untold millions of doses of pain pills each year. New requirements would include tougher reporting standards for the prescribing docs, standards and practices for the clinics, and limits on how many pills those physicians could prescribe — 2,500 doses in a 30-day period.
Ohioans ingested the third most oxycodone of any state in 2009, swallow more than 260,000,000 little white pills.
"The time for talk has ended. The time for action has begun," said Rep. Dave Burke, a pharmacist from Marysville who jointly sponsored the bill.
Drug addiction has hit southern Ohio particularly hard, but the growing problem has spread throughout the state, killing four Ohioans a day. In 2009, drug overdose was the most common cause of accidental death in the state.
Doctors and pharmacists in Scioto County dispensed 9.7 million doses of prescription painkillers last year - an average of 123 pills for every adult and child in the county.
See, Michaelangelo has it right. Pop pizza, not pills.