GREENSBURG (KDKA) — As overdose deaths from prescription drug abuse skyrocket, Westmoreland County leaders are urging the state House of Representatives to pass new legislation.
The year hasn’t even reached the halfway mark, and so far prescription drugs and heroin overdoses have killed 45 Westmoreland County residents.
By Dec. 31, the body county will likely to be record breaker.
The vast majority of overdose deaths start in the medicine cabinet with prescription drug abuse.
Carmen Capozzi knows about the problem all too well.
“I lost my son to a heroin overdose. He was 20-years-old,” said Carmen.
Sage Capozzi’s problem began with prescription medication abuse. That’s why Carmen is a big supporter of state Senate Bill 1180.
“It’s going to bring awareness to this,” she says. “We have too many people shopping doctors.”
The bill proposes tighter control of prescription drug distribution and allows physicians the ability to see if someone’s been going place to place getting scripts filled to feed their addiction.
The bill is close to passage.
Privacy concerns are one of the stumbling blocks, but state Sen. Kim Ward says tools will be in place to protect patient privacy.
“There are protections in the database that show who accessed the database,” said Sen. Ward. “What time and what date they did it. And there are criminal penalties for abusing that.”