Addiction Helpline and Resource Center

Obtaining Prescription Drugs

Prescription drug abuse has been on the rise over the past decade. The addictive qualities of these particular types of drugs convince people that the only way to cope with their current situation is by taking these particular medications. Therefore the accessibility and availability of obtaining these drugs is becoming increasingly easier. Internet pharmacies are on the rise but criminal activity is also. So therefore, governmental regulations are becoming more the norm in this particular area, working with healthcare professionals, passing bills and laws that hammer down on such activity. It is occurring in epic proportions in almost every state. But it’s an issue that is easy to abuse.

Buying prescription drugs online.

Buying prescription drugs online.

Online Pharmacies

Numerous government studies reveal that the majority of Internet sites allowing you to get prescription drugs and don’t even require a formal doctor’s prescription. The drugs are bought directly from the pharmacy and there are almost never any questions asked and no IDs are required for purchase.

Criminal Activity

The most obvious means of obtaining prescription drugs is through theft and robbery. Individuals and pharmacies have been known to be robbed for controlled substances, many times with demands for certain drugs. They can also be broken into after hours. This is a federal offense. Abusers may also just walk out of a pharmacy without paying for the prescription.

Other deceptive criminal activity that’s been known to happen involves:

  • In-home workers (carpet layers, cleaners, plumbers, etc.)
  • Realty open house scam (goes to open house and checks cabinets for drugs)
  • In-home health care providers, service personnel
  • Parties

Street Trade of Prescription Drugs

Doctor-shoppers are people who visit a dozen doctors a day, get prescriptions for specific drugs and then sell those drugs illegally. They deceive medical professionals by lying to them about seeing other doctors and receiving prescriptions from them. Some will go into doctors’ offices and steal prescription pads and write phony prescriptions.

The street trade in prescription drugs is supplied by them. Drug diversion experts said despite the size of the problem, police departments across the country dedicate few resources to fight it. As in any major city, Cincinnati‘s drug diversion problem isn’t limited to an open-air market in a single neighborhood. It’s everywhere there are people, anywhere you find a hospital, pharmacy or doctor’s office.

The unit has focused on doctors, nurses and hospital workers who divert drugs for their own use. Of 250 felony arrests in 1999, 30 percent involved healthcare professionals.
At one point, a healthcare professional was being arrested everyday and a nurse every 10 days.

Diversions by healthcare professionals have also found:

  • Theft (Take from patient drawer, or falsify drug wastage)
  • Substitution (substitute the controlled drug for a non-controlled drug)
  • Alteration (dilute drug after taking some or all of the controlled substance out)
  • Falsification of drug documents (not recording or intentionally incorrectly recording drug transaction, falsifying doctor’s orders)
  • Doctor intentionally writing an illegal prescription for himself or another

Other ways Pharmaceuticals are Diverted

The diversion for pharmaceuticals and prescription drugs range from the simple scam to complex and organized operations. Below are samples of typical diversion scams.

  • Emergency Room Hopping– The abuser visits several emergency rooms, sometimes in the same day, and seeks narcotics for an alleged injury. They give false information to the doctor in order to obtain pills.
  • Phony Prescription Call– In- The abuser or an accomplice calls in a prescription to a pharmacy acting as a nurse or other office worker. After picking up the prescription, the abuser will give a different phone number other than the doctor’s office for the call back, or if they are employed in the office, will give their direct line.
  • Prescription Forgery / Alteration– The abuser will forge or alter a prescription by creating a prescription on the computer, photocopying, or using white out or nail polish remover. Forging or altering a prescription is a felony in Ohio. This includes changing the dose, refills or strength of the medication.
  • Doctor’s Office or Phone Service Scam– The abuser or accomplice actually works for the doctor or his answering service and either calls in a phony prescription or approves it if the pharmacy calls to verify the prescription. A phone service scam involves someone working for the service that knows which doctors will not return calls from the answering service. They then know which doctor’s name to use on the phony prescriptions.

Prescription Drug Addiction Help

If you or someone you know is struggling with a prescription drug addiction, we can help. Please call our toll free number. We are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions on prescription drug addiction treatment.

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