Overprescription of painkillers is "fueling serious painkiller abuse" on American Indian reservations in Montana and across the nation, the Great Falls Tribune reports. Some law enforcement and health officials attribute rising rates of narcotic abuse among American Indians to long waits for surgeries to replace knees and hips and address other pain-related ailments, according to the Tribune. While the patients wait, physicians prescribe them painkillers. In 2006, 5,170 American Indians in Montana and Wyoming were waiting to receive surgeries.
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