JACKSON, Miss.–That’s not a typo about the amount of Hydrocodone pain-pills are prescribed every month in the state.
The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics has repeatedly said the greatest drug threat in the state is by far and away prescription drugs.
“Hydrocodone itself in Mississippi is the highest prescribed narcotic in the state,” said Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Marshall Fisher. “We had something like a little over 119 million dosage unit dispensed here in Mississippi alone last year.”
This week the Food and Drug Administration recommended on Thursday tighter control of how doctors can prescribe those strong pain-killers.
By the end of the year Hydrocodone could be classified as a Schedule II drug which would change which medical professionals can prescribe it along with how pharmacies operate. It could even cut down on the dosage that a medical professional could prescribe.
“I think it’ll be helpful,” Fisher said and pointed out that’s from a law enforcement standpoint. “We had over 200 overdose deaths in the state in 2012 and over 90 percent of them were from prescription pills.”
Fisher said prescription drug abuse is the number two drug abused in the state right now behind marijuana.
For the first year ever there were more open investigations into prescribed medicines for the narcotics bureau than any other illegal drugs combined.