By Staff Writer
The abuse of prescription medications is quickly becoming one of the largest drug problems in the country. Part of the reason for this is accessibility. Unlike other drugs, all that is needed to obtain these substances is a prescription from a doctor. This availability is leading many people to addiction and forcing them to seek substance abuse treatment.
Increasingly, patients who are being treated for legitimate medical conditions are supplying drug dealers.
An investigation into a drug ring in Buffalo, New York recently resulted in the arrest of 33 individuals, according to the Huffington Post. Several of those arrested were patients who were turning their prescription medications over to drug dealers.
Drug Enforcement Agency officials told the news source that patients can earn as much as $1,000 in profit by selling their medications to drug dealers. The profit may be even higher for individuals who are on Medicaid, because they pay little or nothing for the drugs at the pharmacy.
The National Institutes of health estimates that 20 percent of the U.S. population has used prescription medications recreationally. These numbers illustrate the high demand for these drugs.