The drugs of choice include pain killers, steriods, sleep enhancers and cough drops. Availability is one problem with prescription drug abuse. University of Texas at San Antonio's Doctor Susan Dalterio says people who have legitimate prescriptions, especially large numbers of pills, should keep them out of reach.
The Drug Enforcement Administration is one agency that focuses on prescription drug abuse. Diversion Control Deputy Director Denise Curry targets people who gain access to legitimate medicines illegally. Curry says federal officials pick up on prescription drug abuse trends through data analysis. One source is state prescription monitoring programs. Curry explains every time a prescription is written, a copy goes to the state.
Curry says the state programs have patient confidentiality provisions. Other data bases tell federal officials what controlled substances are being manufactured, how much, and where it's being dispersed. The Internet is a growing area of concern. Curry says legitimate on-line pharmacies will require a prescription from a physician.
urry says the DEA wants to make sure prescription drugs are used appropriately.