Alabama public health officials say they're aware of statistics in a report saying the state's prescription drug overdose rate has nearly tripled since 1999. Officials say they are working with other agencies to confront the problem.
The Montgomery Advertiser reported Tuesday that a national report by Trust for America's Health says Alabama's fatal prescription drug overdose rate has jumped from 3.9 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 11.8 per 100,000 people.
Pharmacy director for the Alabama Department of Public Health, Charles Thomas, says state officials are working to address the issue.
The newspaper reports Gov. Robert Bentley signed three bills into law in mid-August to address prescription drug abuse in Alabama.
Thomas says it's too early to tell whether new laws will help.