Public health experts say the abuse of prescription medication is the fasting-growing drug problem in the United States. A new Obama administration initiative aims to reduce addiction levels by 15 percent over the next five years. Among others elements, it would require doctors to receive special training for prescribing painkillers. Many in law enforcement laud the proposals. But people who need powerful drugs to manage chronic pain are concerned. They fear tougher rules for physicians will make it harder for them to get relief. An update on what’s being called a public health epidemic.


  • Dr. Robert Dupont president of the Institute for Behavior and Health; former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
  • Charles Horner chief of police, Portsmouth (Ohio) Police Department.
  • Dr. Paul Christo director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Fellowship Program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital; former director of the Blaustein Pain Treatment Center; host of "Aches and Gains," a weekly radio show in Baltimore.
  • Dr. Nora Volkow director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse of NIH.

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