A scheme to obtain prescription painkillers has a Bridgeville woman facing drug charges, along with three alleged co-conspirators.
According to the Tribune-Review, two Pittsburgh-area physician assistants had been writing dozens of unauthorized prescriptions for narcotic painkillers. Some of those scripts were written for the Bridgeville woman and her son, who lives in Carnegie:
The group acquired a total of 2,890 oxycodone pills, 240 hydrocodone pills and 330 pills of the anti-anxiety drug lorazepam this way, and they made three unsuccessful attempts to get prescriptions filled for 180 more oxycodone and 90 clonazepam anti-anxiety pills.
The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office announced the charges last week.
That news came about a week after the Bridgeville Police Department posted an image on Facebook of crushed up oxycodone found on a shoplifting suspect.
The incidents weren’t related, but the timing is indicative of the ongoing prescription painkiller problem facing cities and towns across the country.
When abused, prescription painkillers—drugs with brand names like Vicodin, Percocet, Roxycodone, and Oxycontin—can wreak havoc on the body and quickly create an addiction.
Prescription opioids are the leading cause of prescription drug overdose deaths in the United States. In recent years, the FDA took measures to educate doctors about the dangers of overprescribing painkillers, while the DEA placed more restrictions on how the drugs can be prescribed.
When prescription pills become too difficult to obtain or just too expensive, addicts may turn to heroin—an opioid that often costs less, is more accessible, and delivers a more powerful euphoria.
People once thought of heroin as an inner-city problem, but today, it’s a growing concern in all types of communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control:
Heroin use has increased across the US among men and women, most age groups, and all income levels. Some of the greatest increases occurred in demographic groups with historically low rates of heroin use: women, the privately insured, and people with higher incomes.