When you think of drug abuse, you probably think of alcohol, cocaine, heroin or methamphetamine. You probably do not assume drug abuse is a serious problem when it comes to prescription medications. But according to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, prescription meds are the third most abused type of drug.
In another example of what-not-to-do, 21 people have been arrested by the NYPD for selling prescription drugs over the internet. Similar internet-based drug sale investigations and prosecutions are taking place across the country, including in Maryland.
People in Prince George's County know that federal and state law enforcement agencies are cracking down on drug use. There are stories in the news every day about people being arrested for having one kind of banned substance or another. Often times, that drug is marijuana. Even with all the arrests, the number of people smoking marijuana is rising, with 12.4 percent of eighth to 10th graders using marijuana.
Nearly all Marylanders are familiar with what a pharmacist does -- he or she fills prescriptions. It is often impossible for an individual pharmacist or a large pharmacy with many pharmacists to recognize when a physician is writing a suspiciously high number of prescriptions. That has not stopped the federal government, however, from accusing certain pharmacies and medication distributers of being involved in what federal agencies are calling a nationwide problem with prescription drug abuse.
The war on drugs continues to wage on, leaving many people arrested and locked up for decades for merely possessing or taking a substance some find objectionable. Others are often kept under close scrutiny because they fit the "type" of person who uses drugs. Some people in Maryland may have heard that certain areas of the country have seen an increase in prescriptions for painkillers such as oxycodone, leading many to assume that there has been a similar increase in the illicit use of narcotics.
The war against drugs has taken its toll on Maryland; many Silver Spring residents have been arrested, convicted and sent to prison because they were in the wrong place in the wrong time. Sometimes, it is simply a matter of having over-the-counter medicine or prescription medications that have the potential for abuse. Regardless of why a person was charged, it is extremely important to work with a lawyer to protect his or her rights and attempt to get the charges dropped.
After the recent arrest of 37 people at a Philadelphia Boeing plant, experts believe there is an increase in prescription drug use by American workers. While many employees are already subject to an invasive drug test prior to being hired, these reports could lead to more random drug tests for current Silver Spring employees.