- Associated Press - Wednesday, February 22, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin wants medical and dental schools in Illinois to have training sessions on responsible opioid prescription.

The Illinois Democrat sent a letter to Illinois schools Wednesday. He is urging them to work with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration to provide better training to students.

He says those entering the medical field must confront a national prescription-drug epidemic.

Durbin says the number of opioid pain relievers prescribed nationwide jumped from 76 million in 1991 to more than 245 million in 2014. He says the increase coincides with a dramatic rise in opioid-related overdose deaths.

He says the best way to solve the crisis is to help doctors and dentists prevent patients from becoming addicted in the first place.

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