Prescription Drug Abuse and Doctors Who Prescribe Them on the Rise
Today, people are abusing legal drugs with deadly results. One of the reasons is the growing black market for prescription drugs is on the increase. According to the US Health Department, 7 million Americans abuse prescription drugs. That's more than the total number of people who abuse cocaine, heroin, hallucinogens, ecstasy and inhalants combined.
Those factors have created the perfect environment for illegitimate pain-management clinics otherwise known as “pill mills, where prescription drugs are easy toattain. Authorities say that as many as eight such clinics could be operating in Scioto County alone, a county of about 74,000 people.
Prescription drugs can be purchased legally and the truth is they are easily available. This is now taking a dangerous and deadly turn. According to a report in The Columbus Dispatch, Scioto County, it has eight pill mills and is one of the top ten most significant places in the country for illegal prescriptions. Ohio pharmacists filled 2.7 million prescriptions in 2008 for painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, narcotics that contain oxycodone; that’s nearly one for every four people in the state, reports the Columbus Dispatch.
According to the latest available data, prescription overdose drug related deaths have risen 280% in the past decade, with 524 deaths in 2008, the latest data available. These legal drugs that doctors write prescriptions ofr is causing crime to go on the rise."Because most of these people paying $80 on the street for one pill don't have a job to support that habit. They're breaking into your houses and stealing your stuff and writing bad checks to your business", said Adams County Sheriff Kimmy Rogers.
Barbara Howard who is not only a member of Portsmouth’s local drug task force, she also lost a daughter that died from an overdose in 2009. She stated that said in order to stop this, pain clinics need to be regulated and doctors stopped from handing out drugs to those who don’t need them.
The sad news is the law enforcers statewide say they do not have sufficient funds or legal authority to prevent doctors writing prescriptions and shady pharmacists filling them. Additionally many doctors and dentists are going ahead and prescribing painkillers, without first checking the prescription drug database.
There are calls for a state law requiring doctors and dentists to check the database, including providing the authorities teeth for going after medical professionals abusing the system, however, without preventing doctors’ from treating patients with real chronic pain issues.