Ga. lawmakers aim to crack down on pill mills

ATLANTA — State lawmakers are moving to curb what officials fear is a quick growth of illegal pill mills in Georgia.

Legislators in both the state House and Senate committees have recently recommended bills officials contend will restrict pill mill operators from operating in the state. Officials believe the growth is at least in part exacerbated by legislation that other states, such as Florida, have passed aimed at cracking down on pill mills.

In the House, the Committee on Health and Human Services passed HB 972, a measure sponsored by Rep. Tom Weldon, R-Ringgold. In the Senate, the Committee on Regulated Industries and Utilities approved SB 453, sponsored by Sen. Buddy Carter, R-Pooler.

“A major driver behind the rise in prescription drug abuse and related deaths in Georgia is the surge of illicit pill mills, which often operate under the facade of a pain clinic,” Attorney General Sam Olens said in a news release. “There are many legitimate pain management clinics that provide relief to patients with chronic pain, and this bill will ensure that only these licensed practitioners are allowed to practice in Georgia.”

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