DEA Says Prescription Drug Abuse Hit Epidemic Proportions

DEA Says Prescription Drug Abuse Hit Epidemic Proportions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription drug abuse is the fastest growing drug problem in the U.S. The website Frontera noted the problem as a growing crisis, saying Americans who abuse prescription drugs outdo those using cocaine, heroin and meth combined.

The Drug Enforcement Administration says that when they survey law enforcement and ask them about the biggest drug problem in their area, prescription drug abuse tops the list. The numbers are high especially among adolescents, as one in five teenagers reports abuse of prescription drugs to gain a quick high, and one in seven reports using prescription drugs in the past year.

Acting U.S. Attorney, Ann Scheel, says teenagers begin by using prescriptions but then realize they can’t afford them so they delve into illicit drugs once they are hooked. The Obama administration is focusing on targeting the seller and not the consumer and says for the government the problem is the transfer and distribution of the drugs, not the possession of them. The Administration points out that there isn’t a difference between the heroin dealer and the doctor from a legal perspective, if they are both violating the law. Both would be charged with the same crime as if they were a street dealer pushing heroin.

Last year the DEA arrested a doctor in California who was accused of running a prescription mill in his office. The government seized over $3 million and a 1999 Bentley, all allegedly due to proceeds from trafficking pain medications.

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