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Tag: prescription drugs

FBI/DEA Produce Documentary on Heroin and Prescription Drug Addiction

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

To make the public more aware of the issue, the FBI and DEA have teamed up to produce a film on the opioid and prescription drug abuse epidemic  that is sweeping the country.

The documentary is called: “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict.”

Georgia Psychiatrist Raided After Allegedly Running Pill Mill Tied to 36 Deaths

Writing prescriptionBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Georgia psychiatrist accused of running a pill mill that allegedly led to the deaths of 36 patients was arrested during a DEA raid, UPI reports. 

Dr. Narendra Nagareddy is accused of violating the state’s Controlled Substances Act by overprescribing potentially dangerous medications.

“He’s a psychiatrist in Jonesboro who has been overprescribing opiates and benzodiazepine and the last several years has had a multitude of overdose deaths.” Clayton County Police Chief Mike Register told WSB-TV.

His office and home were raided by local and federal authorities in Jonesboro, Ga.

“Former and current patients have admitted to obtaining controlled substance prescriptions from Dr. Nagareddy without having a legitimate medical need,” court records show.

Other Stories of Interest

Republicans Accuse a Top DEA Official of Intimidation in Complaint to Inspector General

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Did one of the top leaders of the DEA intimidate members of Congress while discussing a prescription drug bill?

That’s the claim by two Republicans – Reps. Marsha Blackburn, Tenn., and Tom Marino, Pa. – who say in a letter to the Justice Department’s inspector general that DEA Deputy Assistant Administrator Joe Rannazzisi accused them and their staff of “supporting criminals,” the Washington Post reports.

The Republicans want the inspector general to determine whether Rannazzisi’s “baseless accusations constitute serious misconduct by a Department official.”

“We believe an accusation of this nature from a DOJ official is totally unacceptable and does in fact constitute serious misconduct,” Blackburn and Marino wrote. “We have no other choice but to conclude that his statement was an effort to attempt to intimidate the United States Congress.”

The issue was over a bill that would offer a second chance for pharmaceutical distributors who violate federal regulations.

The DNA did not return the Posts’s request for a comment.

Other Stories of Interest


An Analysis: The Illicit Prescription Drug Epidemic Just Keeps Getting Worse

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com
 
The following are a few of the true stories from the cinema verite of America’s Prescription Addiction already playing in real life near you. Half of Americans received at least one prescription in the last month, and almost three billion prescriptions for 100 billion pills were dispensed last year. Both numbers are on a steady increase.

Scene #1 – In the early morning hours the “patients” are lined up out the door and around the block of the suburban Detroit clinic.  Each has a well rehearsed set of subjective symptoms that will produce a scrip for Xanax, Vicodin or another drug that they can sell on the street. Muted cheers as the doctor pulls up in his expensive European sedan, gives them a friendly wave, and then enters the side door of the office. By noon he will have completed his “treatment” of those in the line, and he will retire to the doctors’ lounge at a nearby hospital where he can check his stocks on his laptop.

Scene #2 – The federal prosecutor and case agent view the latest day’s video of a court-authorized Title III from a camera inserted into another doctor’s office, this time in the inner city. The investigation had shown that no “patients” ever entered this office. The doctor enters the office and, using the list of names and drugs given to him by his assistant, proceeds to write out dozens of prescriptions for patients he never sees. What is striking to the prosecution team is that he always puts on his starched white coat and checks his appearance in the mirror before sitting at his desk to complete his task.

Scene #3 – Fourteen year old Sally digs through her parents’ medicine cabinet before leaving the house to join her friends. She thought there was some Valium left from last week but decides to settle for a few of these OxyContins her father had left over from some back surgery. A friend would bring some alcohol to share with the group. Her parents would receive a call later that night from the hospital emergency room where she had been taken after she went into seizure at the party.

Scene #4 – Max was a good student at the state university, but this semester’s course load was a ball-buster, and his performance on final exams next week would determine whether he would keep his scholarship for the rest of the year. Fortunately he had a buddy down the hall who had been diagnosed as ADHD and who would always slide him a few Adderall to boost his concentration level.

Scene #5 – Dr. Anderson gets a call as he is leaving the house with his family to see a Friday night movie. He has to take it because it is his turn to be on call. A desperate sounding patient of the clinic where he works is in a great deal of pain from a recent surgery. She needs a prescription for a pain killer called in to the pharmacy so that she can get through the weekend. Although he knows it will mess up the movie schedule, the doctor takes the time to check the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database and discovers that the patient has been getting the same pain pills from two other physicians and an emergency room in the last month. He refuses the request and makes a mental note to address the issue with her regular physician.

Like most things, along with the use comes the abuse. Over one-fifth of Americans have taken prescription drugs for non-medical reasons. One-quarter of high school students have abused them, a 33% increase in the last four years. Six of the ten most popular illegal drugs used by 12th graders were originally obtained by prescription, and half of them came from mom and dad’s medicine cabinet.

The epidemic of illicit prescription drug abuse continues to gain speed.  Its use exceeds the combined use of cocaine, heroin, and all inhalants. Marijuana is the only illegal drug used more than pharmaceuticals.

Drug overdose deaths exceeded automobile accident fatalities last year, and most of these (about 24,000) involved prescription drugs, especially addictive painkillers such as OxyContin and Vicodin.

Read more »

Worldwide Crackdown on Illegal Internet Sales of Prescription Drugs Results in the Seizure of Nearly 700 Sites

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Americans who have trouble getting prescriptions from doctors for narcotic medications often find no problem accessing the drugs from illicit online sites.

It will be more difficulty under a crackdown led by ICE and the Department of Justice, which have seized 686 websites accused of selling fake or illegal drug over the past week, ICE said in a press release.

The initiative, called Bitter Pill, was designed to disrupt crime networks peddling illegal online drugs.

Bitter Pill involves 100 countries and netted 79 arrests and the seizure of nearly 4 million doses of counterfeit medications.

Four Dozen Charged in Massive Medicaid Scheme

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan charged four dozen people in a scheme to illegally resell prescription drugs obtained by Medicaid recipients, reports CNN.com.

The scheme involved hundreds of millions of dollars worth of prescription drugs obtained from Medicaid recipients. The accused bought the drugs at discounted rates and then resold them through a corrupt network of wholesale distributors, according to CNN.

The drugs included treatment for schizophrenia, HIV and asthma. Some cost more than $1,000 a bottle, CNN reported.

The arrests range from people who bought the drugs on the street to those who resold them to a distributor.

DEA’s Annual Take-Back Prescription Drugs Program Set for April 28

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s that time of year again for the DEA’s National Prescription Drug-Take-Back Day.

The DEA has announced the program will take place on Saturday, April 28  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. People can dispose of unwanted, unused prescription drugs at stations designated around the country.

Last year, in the third annual event, , people turned in more than 377,086 pounds (188.5 tons) of unwanted or expired medications at the 5,327 take-back sites, the DEA said.

“The amount of prescription drugs turned in by the American public during the past three Take-Back Day events speaks volumes about the need to develop a convenient way to rid homes of unwanted or expired prescription drugs,” DEA Administrator Michele M. Leonhart said in a statement. “DEA remains hard at work to establish just such a drug disposal process, and will continue to offer take-back opportunities until the proper regulations are in place.”

“With the continued support and hard work of our more than 3,945 state, local, and tribal law enforcement and community partners, these three events have dramatically reduced the risk of prescription drug diversion and abuse, and increased awareness of this critical public health issue,” said Leonhart.

 

Jersey City Councilman Arrested Over Pain Pill Prescriptions

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Vincent A. Esposito may need some painkillers to kill the pain from being arrested.

The Madison,  N.J., city councilman, who is also a medical doctor, was arrested Thursday  for writing fraudulent pain pill prescriptions, New Jersey Today reported on Friday. DEA agents and state authorities raided his office.

Vincent A. Esposito, 54, of Madison, New Jersey, also a medical doctor, was arrested on Thursday by officials from the state and the DEA following a search of the doctor’s offices.

Esposito was charged with the distribution of a controlled dangerous substance–namely, OxyConton–and conspiracy, stemming from an investigation of the DEA and the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau. Local law enforcement agencies assisted the investigation as well.

To read more click here.