MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - South Carolina's Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Council is recommending a law requiring anyone who writes prescriptions to use a state database that tracks prescriptions and refills for individual patients.
"We're starting to see patterns and red flags are being raised then it gives us a way of looking into it," said Dr. Ron Reynolds, who uses the database at Beach Urgent Care.
That database is called the Prescription Monitoring Program, but the council found only 20 percent of users are registered to use it because it's not mandatory.
However, health providers in Myrtle Beach who do use it said it's a valuable tool.
"We've got it set up. We use it really often now," said Roddy Williams, pharmacist and owner of Ocean Lakes Pharmacy. "It's very helpful."
The Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Council cites more success in other states that decided to require prescribers to use the database.
The council also said opioid pain killers cause more deaths than methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin combined in South Carolina.
The Florence County Coroner said he's seen the pattern solidify in the past five years especially and is now called out to a death from an overdose about once a week.
Controlling the drugs at the source, doctors and pharmacies, is the main method to end addictions.
"The more they get these things, the harder it's going to be to break it," Williams said. "You'd be surprised the people that are handicapped by being hooked on these things."