Prescription Drug Addiction Crackdown on Fraud Announced In California

Prescription Drug Addiction Crackdown on Fraud Announced In California

California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. has announced a crackdown on rampant prescription drug fraud in California, including arrests of dozens of abusers who averaged hundreds of doctor and pharmacy visits to collect massive quantities of addictive drugs like Valium, Vicodin, and OxyContin to support their prescription drug addiction.

One such suspect arrested is Frankie Greer, 53, who visited 183 doctors and 47 pharmacies to feed her prescription drug addiction with some of the most dangerous painkillers in lethal combinations. In a one-year period, said the attorney general, Greer sought out multiple doctors at hospital emergency rooms to prescribe her over 4,830 hydrocodone tablets, 2,210 oxycodone tablets, 156 OxyContin pills, and a variety of additional addictive painkillers.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates that 20 to 30% of the state's drug abusers primarily use prescription drugs. And a 2005 survey by the Drug Abuse Warning Network estimates the non-medical use of pharmaceuticals accounted for more than 500,000 emergency room visits in California, which Attorney General Brown called "an enormous drain on the state's healthcare system." Drug detox and rehab facilities are increasingly called upon to treat prescription drug addiction in addition to the traditional illicit street drugs.

"These prescription drug addicts are abusing the system, draining time and money from hundreds of doctors and pharmacies who are there to help real sick people, not con artists," said Attorney General Brown. "On my order, California Department of Justice special agents launched a statewide search for the most aggressive prescription drug addicts. We want to end these dangerous cycles of fraud and abuse."

As well as costing the state millions each year in drug costs, health care, law enforcement and other expenses, prescription drug addiction and abuse has serious public safety consequences. Many of the top abusers arrested in the crackdown held jobs that could be negatively impacted by prescription drug addiction, including truck drivers, transit operators and medical practitioners.

The AG's office is working in cooperation with the Troy and Alana Pack Foundation, founded by Bob Pack after his 7- and 10-year old children were killed by a driver suffering from prescription drug addiction who was driving while on drugs obtained from multiple doctors.

To help combat prescription drug addiction and abuse and make it easier for doctors and pharmacists to keep track of prescription drug records, the attorney general unveiled a plan earlier this year to introduce an online system offering real-time access to patient prescription drug histories. Online prescription database systems are already operating in over 20 states and being considered in others. In California, it would replace an outdated paper-based system which each year sees more than 60,000 mailed or faxed requests for info.

Meanwhile, anyone you know who suffers from prescription drug addiction should be referred to a medical drug detox facility without delay.

Start Your New Path to Sobriety Today!

    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.