Prescription drug abuse is out pacing street drugs - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Prescription drug abuse is out pacing street drugs

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JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Good drugs being used badly. The abuse of prescription pills has risen about 10 percent each year since 2008.

According to www.drugabuse.gov pain relievers, tranquilizers, and stimulants are the most common.

Some law enforcement believe there is a misconception that prescription pills are safe, no matter what they're mixed or taken with.

"It's a lot easier to get than buying your street drugs. If a doctor gives you an 800mg hydrocodone tablet it is safe, but when you start diluting it, mixing it with other drugs that's where the problem comes in," says Floyd Baker Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration Jackson office.

Baker says nearly every law enforcement officer he's talked with is concerned with the growing epidemic.

"They have indicated that the prescription drug abuse is more of a problem than the cocaine, the marijuana, the typical drugs that you would expect to hear in drug enforcement."

Baker believes prescription pills are becoming the drug of choice for many dealers because they can make more money selling prescription pills.

Prescription pills can also be stolen from friends or family. Some even doctor shop, which was why 11 people were arrested in Warren County earlier this week.

"These drugs that we're dealing with are incredibly addictive, and anytime someone becomes addicted to the drugs and has given their life over to the drugs then they obviously need help," says Warren County Sheriff Martin Pace.

Baker says teens and young adults are the fastest growing age demographic of prescription drug abusers.

"That's the time to where kids are experimenting with drugs and that's where we're staring to find the problem."

Baker says emergency rooms are seeing an increase in prescription overdose cases.

Even coroners say they're seeing a higher number of deaths related to prescription pills.

Law enforcement agencies will attend a drug summit in Jackson next month. The main topic of the event will be prescription drug fraud and abuse.

Copyright 2012 WLBT. All rights reserved.

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