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Article Summary

The Production and Trafficking of Prescription Drug Use

Individuals illegally obtain prescription drugs through a variety of means, such as:

  • Doctor shopping or other prescription fraud Illegal online pharmacies Theft and burglary (from residences, pharmacies, etc.) Receiving/purchasing from friends or family
  • Overprescribing (negligent or occasionally even intentional overprescribing by physicians or other prescribers)

During an one week period in February of 2006, a research study was conducted on behalf of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University . Using Internet search engines and e-mail advertisements, researchers discovered that of 185 Internet sites found to be selling controlled prescription drugs during this period, 165 (89%) did not require any prescription. Of these sites, 50 (30%) clearly stated that no prescription was needed, 99 (60%) offered an “online consultation” and 16 (10%) made no mention of a prescription.Only 20 of the 185 Internet sites found during the 2006 study required a prescription. Of these, 14 (70%) only required patients to fax a prescription, 3 (15%) required that a patient mail the prescription and 3 (15%) indicated that a doctor would be contacted prior to dispensing the drug.

Prescription Drug Street Terms




OxyContin pill

Doctor shopping

Going from doctor to doctor to fraudulently obtain prescriptions

Murder 8


Pharming Consuming a mixture of prescription substances
Ritz and Ts Combination of Ritalin and Talwin injected

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