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State tries to reduce prescription overdoses

State tries to reduce prescription overdoses

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- State health officials are writing guidelines for doctors who prescribe powerful drugs to treat chronic pain.

The state is trying to reduce the number of overdoses from prescription drugs.

Recommendations by the state include random testing for illegal drugs and overuse of pain pills. Doctors may also ask patients to sign a contract before being prescribed certain drugs.

Some doctors believe pain pills are over-prescribed and say there aren't enough restrictions. But other doctors say the painkillers are necessary for some patients and there are already too many restrictions.

A public comment period on the recommendations runs through Dec. 15. Any recommendations that are officially adopted by the state could become required by insurance companies.

Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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