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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A panel says North Carolina legislators and Gov. Pat McCrory should look at ways to curb prescription drug abuse so deaths among youths can be prevented.

The North Carolina Child Fatality Task Force released Thursday its annual report, which provides policy recommendations for the coming year.

Panel leaders say poisoning deaths are increasing due to the misuse of prescription drugs by teenagers. The report says the reporting system for dispensing drugs should be strengthened and funds should be restored to the Carolinas Poison Center.

The task force also wants infant mortality prevention programs protected and expanded to include newborn screening for potential heart problems, as well as more money for mental health treatment for children harmed by abuse.

North Carolina’s child death rate in 2011 was the lowest on record.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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