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Tougher Laws to Prevent Prescription Drug Abuse


It’s not just Crack and Heroin sold on the streets. Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, you name it, it’s out there.

“That’s where the abuse starts with Oxycontin or Percocet.  Someone has a leg or back injury start taking the pills, next thing they know they’re addicted and they’re turning to Heroin,” said Springfield Police Sergeant Robert Tardiff.

Sergeant Robert Tardiff with the Narcotics Division of Springfield Police says prescription drugs are a major problem in Springfield.

“Our cases are 10-fold from 5 years ago. We have people calling all the time saying their prescription got stolen or doctors offices saying their employee’s are stealing prescription pads,” said Sgt. Tardiff.

 Tardiff says in just the last 2-days they’ve had 3-cases of people trying to fill a fake prescription.

State lawmakers are now proposing a bill that would require anyone who can write prescriptions to register with the state’s “prescription monitoring program.”

Right now registering is only *voluntary.*

Chief of Pharmacy at Baystate Medical Center, Gary Kerr says it’s a step in the right direction, but it won’t be easy.

“There’s thousands of people who can prescribe now, like nurse practitioners. So it’s a massive undertaking,” said Kerr.

Kerr says many doctors and pharmacists are taking their own pro-active steps. Like writing prescriptions for smaller quantities, even patient contracts.

“The patient agrees and signs his name that he or she will not share the medication and will take it for the back pain they are being treated for.” added Kerr.

 Tardiff says once abusers do get their hands on the pills they either pop’em or sell them for huge profit. He says in some cases people on Medicare or Medicaid can get a prescription for 100-pills for a dollar or less.

“You could sell 1 Oxycontin pill, 30 mg. for 10-15 dollars a piece,” said Tardiff.

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