By March, a computerized system intended to identify West Virginians who buy large quantities of narcotic drugs and health care providers who prescribe pain medications frequently will be up and running, state officials say.
Clearly, the database will help law enforcement agencies apprehend drug abusers and reduce their access through techniques such as visiting multiple health care providers to obtain prescriptions.
But only 15 regional drug task forces and State Police officers have access to the system. Some county sheriffs say they want to use it, too.
Giving sheriff's departments access to the system provides better monitoring of drug transactions. The change should be made.