Prescription Drug Fraud

By: Melissa Reynolds
By: Melissa Reynolds

In Page County, the number of prescription drug abuse cases jumped from 10 in 2000 to more than 100 this year.

Prescription drugs are a common sight, what you may not realize is they are now the second most abused drugs in Page County-ahead of crack cocaine.

"It's a growing problem, people are becoming more dependent on narcotics and it's easier to get, so they're going to that," Major Russell Montgomery says.

The most common drugs sold illegally are pain pills like Vicodin, Percocet and Methadone.

"It's causing problems in the communit,-people that are addicted to it they're going out and we find illegal drug use is in connection with burglaries, break-ins, larcenies," Major Montgomery says.

That's not the only problem with prescription fraud-these little bottles can cause a big headache for everyone involved.

"It increases the amount of work we have to do to try and weed out which prescription is valid and which may have problems with it," Pharmacist Richard Holder explains.

There's any number of ways around the system-Holder and other pharmacists say those holes need to be patched up.

"I think a statewide database needs to be formulated where drugs are tracked either from a prescription subscriber standpoint or from a patient standpoint," Holder says.

Law enforcement is also doing what they can, but it's limited.

"Once they learn how to do it it seems pretty easy until they're caught," Major Montgomery says.

Page County's not alone. Just last week, Waynesboro police charged two people with prescription fraud and police say they won't be the last.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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