Drug czar meets with Appalachian governors

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - The White House drug czar has described the prescription drug abuse epidemic that's ravaging the Appalachians as "simply heartbreaking" in a meeting with governors from the region.

National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske met Sunday with Govs. Robert Bentley of Alabama, Steve Beshear of Kentucky, Phil Bryant of Mississippi, Beverly Perdue of North Carolina, Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania, Bill Haslam of Tennessee, and Earl Ray Tomblin of West Virginia.

Kerlikowske told the governors that prescription drug abuse is claiming too many lives and holding back the economy in the impoverished mountain region.

Beshear has said more than 80 Kentuckians on average are dying from prescription drug overdoses each month in his state.

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