Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown wants the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to ramp up enforcement efforts against "pill mills" in Ohio.

Brown said prescription-drug abuse is hitting Ohio especially hard.

"The cost of allowing these illegal operations to continue is simply too high; it perpetuates addiction, fosters drug dealing, and most tragically, leads to overdose deaths," Brown said in a statement.

The Democrat added his voice to those of Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine and two state lawmakers who announced prescription-drug fighting plans in the past two weeks.

Deaths from prescription-drug overdoses tripled in Ohio between 1999 and 2006, as the number nationwide doubled.

Seven of the 10 counties with the highest drug-overdose death rates are in southern Ohio.

Brown recently called for establishment of a Medicaid "lock-in" program so prescription-drug users cannot get excess prescriptions from multiple doctors and pharmacies.

He also backed reauthorizing federal legislation for prescription drug monitoring and a separate law to prevent teenagers from obtaining discarded prescription drugs by creating so-called "take-back" programs for unused drugs.

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