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Prescription Drug Abuse and Diversion

NCJ Number
Sheriff Volume: 57 Issue: 3 Dated: May-June 2005 Pages: 12,68,77
Landon S. Gibbs
Date Published
May 2005
3 pages
This article examines the abuse of prescription drugs and the challenge it poses to law enforcement in preventing drug diversion.
Prescription drugs are illegally diverted out of the system for controlled distribution through methods such as theft, illegal importation from other countries, and altered or forged prescriptions, warranting serious attention from law enforcement and healthcare professionals. Each State has specific laws dealing with drug diversion, and law enforcement agencies play a major role in preventing and investigating drug diversion. Law enforcement must work hand-in-hand with the healthcare community in order to help prevent drug diversion. Prescribers should be shown how to write prescriptions, as well as be encouraged to use tamper-resistant prescription pads when ever possible. Law enforcement officers should also be encouraged to develop relationships with doctors and other prescribers in the community. Lastly, law enforcement supervisors and managers should become more aware of the danger that prescription drug abuse poses to public health. In summation, law enforcement agencies across the Nation have a duty to prevent prescription drug abuse.