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Ohio Governor Forms Painkiller Abuse Task Force

Saying the state faces a public health emergency, Ohio's governor has created a task force to battle prescription painkiller abuse.

Gov. Ted Strickland on Friday announced that the panel would identify ways to help police and health care officials stop the widespread abuse of pain medication.

Strickland says Ohio also is making $250,000 in federal grants available for police to expand their efforts combatting painkiller abuse.

And, the governor says he wants more doctors and pharmacists to use a statewide computer system that allows them to track suspicious prescriptions.

Deaths from accidental drug overdoses, many of them blamed on prescription painkillers, are now the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, surpassing car crashes. (Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)