- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has set up a council to study opioid addiction.

The Governor’s office says in a statement that on Tuesday, Ivey signed an executive order creating the Alabama Opioid Overdose and Addiction Council. The order changes the name of the Alabama Council on Opioid and Addiction, established by former Gov. Robert Bentley, and adds eight members to the group.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, of Alabama’s 736 reported drug overdose deaths in 2015, 282 were caused by opioids. The data also shows that Alabama doctors in 2012 wrote 1.43 prescriptions for opioid pain relievers per person - a rate higher than any other state.

The council will hold its first meeting within the next three weeks.

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