MONTEREY, Calif. -

With prescription drug abuse on the rise nationally, a new initiative in Monterey County is being formed to help address this serious public health issue.

Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula is bringing together more than a dozen organizations to create the Monterey County Prescribe Safe Initiative.

That includes all four county hospitals - Community Hospital, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, Natividad Medical Center, and Mee Memorial - as well as most of the county's urgent care facilities, the Sheriff's Office and a number of other partners.

Physicians will now be able to register for a database that will allow them access to information about a patient's use of prescriptions. Being able to see a patient’s pattern of controlled medication use helps healthcare providers determine whether that person is at risk for abuse or misuse of prescription drugs, officials said.