May 27, 2009 - New drug czar wants states to monitor prescription abuse
More Americans die from drugs than from gunshot wounds.
Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske says one of his top priorities is curtailing abuse of prescription drugs such as the addictive painkiller OxyContin that are readily available in the United States.
"We get overly concerned about drugs coming in, but the pharmaceuticals are here already," - Gil Kerlikowske - White House
Kerlikowske said he'll push for more states to adopt prescription-monitoring programs in which doctors and pharmacists log prescriptions for addictive drugs so law enforcement can track them.
Kerlikowske, a former Seattle police chief who became director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy on May 7, said drug abuse is a "public health problem."
"Legalization isn't in the president's vocabulary, and it certainly isn't in mine," he told 300 law enforcement officials last week in Nashville.