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State Looks For New Tools To Battle Prescription Drug Abuse

Prescription drug abuse experts unveiled a new tool today to help lower opioid misuse in the state.

That new tool is a website containing information for doctors describing safe prescribing techniques and standards for pain management.

Dr. Seddon Savage, a chronic pain and addiction specialist at Dartmouth, says the cycle of abuse can start with a well-intentioned prescription.

“Often, opioids are prescribed for pain treatment. But people find it helps them sleep better, their mood feels a little better when they use them. They might start using them for other symptoms…and then get into a spiral of challenges by misusing the medications.”

With this online prescribing tool, Savage hopes doctors who prescribe opioids, such as Percocet, OxyContin and Vicodin can stop that spiral.

This summer, New Hampshire became the 49th state to create a prescription drug monitoring system.

Officials are hoping to combat what they see as an epidemic of abuse in the state. Rates of prescription drug abuse among 18-25 year olds is the second highest in the nation.

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