Illinois Senator Joins Fight Against Prescription Drug Abuse

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk says he’s teaming up with Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia to propose legislation designed to combat prescription drug abuse.

The legislation targets doctors, clinics and pharmacies that prescribe or dispense prescription narcotics inappropriately. It would reclassify hydrocodone-combination drugs that are prone to abuse, such as Vicodin.

The legislation would double the prison sentence and triple the fines for illegal distribution for controlled substances.

Kirk announced the legislation in Chicago on Wednesday. On hand were Gail and David Katz of Highland Park who lost their 25-year-old son to prescription drug abuse in 2007. They say their son got OxyContin from a patient whose doctor had been inappropriately prescribing controlled substances to multiple patients.

That doctor later lost his medical license.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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