Tennessee is working to renew efforts to curb drug abuse throughout the state in 2013.
According to the latest statistics, Tennessee ranks second in the nation for over-utilization of prescription pain medications.
Adults 18 to 25 have the highest rate of prescription drug abuse.
Dr. Gary Williams, owner of Riverside Pharmacy in east Nashville, said he believes the new regulations will help keep a better tab on what drugs patients are using when.
“We don't fill any patients that aren't in the radius of our store,” Williams said, adding, “We have a lot of strict guidelines we go through here.”
According to Williams, the 13-month-old pharmacy checks the state's controlled substance monitoring database on a regular basis.
The database, which is now a requirement for all pharmacies to use, reveals which Tennesseans have prescriptions for painkillers such as hydrocodone and oxycodone.
“It's going to get better. It's all for the patients to make sure they're getting the care they need and we're not putting anything on the street,” Williams said. “That's what's important.”
Williams added his pharmacy sees dozens of patients each day and has to turn away patients on a regular basis for attempting to have their prescription re-filled too early.