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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 25, 2009, 11:13 AM

Prescription drug abuse a far-reaching addiction

(WDAZ TV) - It's an ever-growing problem across the country. From a well-known celebrity to your nurse, you never know who might be abusing prescription drugs.

By: Amber Schatz, WDAY

(WDAZ TV) - It's an ever-growing problem across the country. From a well-known celebrity to your nurse, you never know who might be abusing prescription drugs. Amber Schatz shows us the dangers of this far-reaching addiction.

"We went through the whole Valium years, now we're in Oxycontin times and the steps are taken to try to stem that tide."

It's a type of criminal behavior that crosses all economic and social barriers. Prescription drug abuse continues to be a growing concern in light of celebrities gone too soon and a growing number of local drug-seekers.

"It's not uncommon to call a physician and say, did you realize that this person just got 30 of these at another pharmacy two days ago?"

"I'm sure it's always been out there it's just we're seeing more of it because people are noticing it more and reporting it more."

"Seeking those out through deceitful matters, seeing multiple physicians, pharmacies."

Oberlander says tracking prescription abusers is becoming easier through an online state system and better communication with doctors, but sometimes, it's the experts taking advantage.

"The abuse rate in the medical community is very high."

"We had doctor charged with acquiring control substance and it tends to be a white collar crime, not that that makes it. "

Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Demerol are some of the more high profile prescription drugs, but once abused, experts say anyone can end up paying a hefty price.

"Somebody taking ten of these a day, they suddenly enter into a liver toxicity issue, and then they do it over and over again, abusing alcohol at the same time, you have a very, very dangerous situation."

In 2009, Bismarck Police have had six altered prescription charges

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