Ohio DEA task force to tackle prescription drugs

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CLEVELAND (AP) -- The U.S. Attorney for the northern half of Ohio is announcing a new task force dedicated solely to the issue of prescription drug abuse.

The announcement by U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach comes as a two-day conference begins on the abuse of prescription drugs such as painkillers.

Overdose drug deaths fueled by prescription painkiller addiction are now the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio and more than a dozen other states, surpassing car crashes.

Dettelbach says one of the exciting initiatives at the conference is the release of details on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit investigating nothing but prescription drug cases. Doctors researching the issue and addicts telling their stories also plan presentations.