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Two weeks ago, we told you that doctor shopping led Ohioans – particularly drug dealer Gerald Dixon – south to buy prescription painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet, and OxyContin. Now, a southeastern Ohio health system hopes its new biometric tracking system will quash prescription drug abuse and trafficking. According to, biometrics identify people via “physical characteristics, like your face, fingerprints, irises or veins, or behavioral characteristics like your voice, handwriting or typing rhythm.”

Last Thursday, reported that Holzer Health Systems created a $1.5 million system that will delineate patients who use opiates from people who abuse them.

According to the news site, Holzer teamed up with CrossChx, a company with expertise in identifying people through physical information. Holzer is currently asking patients being admitted to emergency rooms throughout the state to volunteer their fingerprints.

The recent epidemic of prescription painkiller addiction sweeping the state spurred the project. According to, the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services found that:

  • when you divide the total number of doses by the state’s population, 67 doses of prescription opiate painkillers are prescribed to every Ohio resident;
  • four Ohio residents die every day from a drug overdose; and
  • two-thirds of those deaths are from dangerous and addictive opiates.

"We are excited about the potential of this new technology to help reduce prescription drug abuse, doctor shopping and sales of medications for the purposes of abuse," said Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services director Orman Hall.

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