Obama Administration's Battle Against Prescription Drug Abuse

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The Obama administration has launched an ambitious fight against prescription drug abuse, which it called an "epidemic."

According to a report from Reuters, the administration wants to spend $123 million for drug prevention and $99 million for treatment programs in the 2012 fiscal year, in addition to its usual expenditure in the war on drugs.

The goal is to reduce prescription drug addiction by 15% over five years.

"Unintentional drug overdose is a growing epidemic in the U.S. and is now the leading cause of injury death in 17 states," Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Thomas Frieden said in a statement Tuesday from the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the number of Americans abusing prescription drugs increased by 20% between 2002 and 2009.

"Today we are making an unprecedented commitment to combat the growing problem of prescription drug abuse," Vice President Biden said in the statement. "This plan will save lives, and it will substantially lessen the burden this epidemic takes on our families, communities, and workforce."

The plan would require drug makers to educate doctors about the safe use of prescription drugs, strengthen prescription drug monitoring programs, and reduce the prevalence of pill mills and doctor shopping.

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