Drug Abuse Charges Affect Many Families
Moore County Sheriff Lane Carter should be commended for his handling of his son's drug arrest. A less honorable man may have been tempted to look the other way or call off his investigators.
That was never an option for our sheriff. Many families in Moore County share Carter's plight as they have watched a loved one spiral through the downward cycle of prescription abuse -- for many, a certain path into the criminal justice system.
Prescription narcotics can be more addictive than illegal street drugs. Many people falsely believe that because a drug is prescribed by a doctor, it must be safe. A narcotic is a narcotic, whether obtained from a pharmacy, street-corner drug dealer or family medicine cabinet.
Prescription narcotics can also be deadly, especially when combined with alcohol or other drugs. Obtaining prescription narcotics is too easy. Doctor shopping has become a common occurrence in which a patient sees multiple doctors and obtains multiple prescriptions for narcotics.
Doctor shopping is a felony, and we prosecute these cases regularly. However, it may be preventable. There is a prescription database doctors can access; it shows whether the patient has obtained any other narcotic prescriptions lately. Although law enforcement has strongly encouraged doctors to use this database voluntarily, it is not mandatory.
The General Assembly needs to pass a bill that (1) requires doctors to screen the prescription database before writing a narcotics prescription; (2) expands law enforcement access to the prescription database from the State Bureau of Investigation to sheriffs and local narcotics investigators; and (3) requires the prescription-holder to sign a registry at the pharmacy like the one required for cold medications.
Moore County has many support groups. Check The Pilot for listings. Treatment resources can be located at www.drugfreemc.com.
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