Federal move aims to reduce deadly drug overdoses

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WASHINGTON- The Drug Enforcement Agency is moving forward with a plan to tighten controls on addictive prescription medication.

The agency's intention is to reschedule hydrocodone combination drugs from a Schedule III to a Schedule II drug.  That makes them more difficult to prescribe and obtain.

From here, there's a 60-day public comment period, then the DEA will review the remarks and make a final ruling.

Hydrocodone use has been growing at an alarming rate nationwide.  Fatal drug overdoses now outweigh the number of traffic fatalities in the country.

In a statement regarding the announcement, Congressman Vern Buchanan said it "means we are one step closer to curbing the abuse of the deadly narcotics wreaking havoc on countless families and communities across our nation."  Rep. Buchanan is the House sponsor of the bipartisan Safe Prescribing Act of 2013.