ARKANSAS -- Arkansas has found itself on a less than desirable list, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The list shows the Natural State as one of the top ten for prescribing prescription painkillers.
According to the CDC, health care providers in the highest-prescribing states wrote almost three times more opioid painkiller prescriptions per person than other states, but the problem stems far beyond the prescriber.
Pill farming, or pill shopping, is a term the Drug Task Force of Fayetteville hears all too often. According to investigators, many drug dealers shop from pharmacy to pharmacy, re-filling forged drug prescriptions. That activity can throw up a red flag for police. Pharmacies, like Collier's in Fayetteville, say they do have a database that sends a red flag if they suspect someone of being a drug abuser.
Investigators say there often comes a point when the plan shifts, and drug users and dealers use law enforcement to get what they want. The Drug Task Force says offenders will often report their medications as stolen in order to get a fresh prescription to fill.
"Part of it's just misinformation," said Tyler Clark of NWA Tobacco and Drug-Free Coalition. "We need to really incrase our education efforts and the availability of drugs of course is always uh, key to the issue as well." The key is using powerful prescription drugs as prescribed.
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