Jackson County to begin tracking prescriptions with database starting at beginning of 2017

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JACKSON COUNTY, Mo. -- Lawmakers say they were forced to take action because Missouri is the only state in the country without a prescription drug registry. A new registry in Jackson County will keep track of how many prescriptions a patient has, as well as the doctors writing prescriptions for certain drugs that can be highly addictive.

Lawmakers say the database will cost just under $30,000. Jackson County legislator Dan Tarwater says his brother is a perfect example of why a registry is needed. Tarwater says his brother died after becoming addicted to prescription pain pills following a back problem.

“He is like the people we would like to target. He, on a monthly basis, would get about 30 prescriptions a month, and he would just go to different doctors,” Tarwater said.

“The doctors, I assume are good people, the ones that he was seeing and they didn't know. Now doctors will be able to know if someone has just gone to another doctor and refuse a prescription from them.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than any other year. Jackson County leaders say lawmakers in the St. Louis area are also considering creating a drug database.

They hope that if the two cities have monitoring in place, state lawmakers will create a state-wide database. Either way, Jackson County's drug database will take effect in January.

Prescription drug take back

Do you have prescription drugs you want to toss? Don't throw them in the trash; several cities are offering places for you to drop off unwanted prescription drugs this coming weekend.

It's all part of Drug Take Back Day. Blue Springs police will be at the city's Price Chopper locations Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

More than a dozen other police departments have drop off boxes inside their buildings. For more information, click on this link.