SC Inspector General Finds Epidemic Of Prescription Drug Abuse - WSPA.com

SC Inspector General Finds Epidemic Of Prescription Drug Abuse

Posted: Updated:

Doctor David Carver serves on the front lines of the new war on drugs.  In the ER at Baptist Easley he sees pill seeking addicts and street level dealers looking for more supply.
   
"Many a day. It's one of the most difficult things we see because it takes up so much time and we want to do what's right for the patient," Carver said.

Prescription drugs now account for more overdose deaths that all illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin combined.  

A scathing new report from South Carolina's Inspector General points the blame squarely at doctors who over prescribe saying "at the core, this is a supply problem."

According to the report, Greenville County narcotics officers have "identified at least 7 physicians who are suspected of acting as pill mills where abusers and shoppers easily obtained drugs."  Most, "are a cash only business."

The same report shows Union County is a destination for drug tourists from other Upstate counties.

"Two doctors appeared to be more blatant by attracting abusers and shoppers traveling from surrounding counties," the report said.

Sheriff David Taylor, of Union County, knows exactly which doctors the report references.

"We've known for quite a while who they are.  We haven't been able to do a whole lot about it. We've asked for help on the state level to monitor the amount of pain medication that they're distributing but we haven't gone far there," Taylor said.

Doctors do have access to those tools but they aren't required to use them.

In places like Baptist Easley, doctors  use a statewide system that tracks patients and prescriptions. The patient monitoring program, PMP, helped doctors in Pickens County ERs cut painkiller prescriptions by 50%.

Because the system isn't required, only 22% of South Carolina doctors use it.

The Inspector General recommends making it mandatory.  That way, the report said, the state could track pill shoppers who go from doctor to doctor for new supplies.  State agencies could also track doctors who wrote an exceptional number of prescriptions.

"That's our primary directive here is to alleviate pain, but we need to make sure we don't facilitate a chronic pain and abuse of those medications," Carver said.

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • VIRAL VIDEO: Selfie Captures Man Getting Kicked By Train Engineer

    VIRAL VIDEO: Selfie Captures Man Getting Kicked By Train Engineer

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 2:46 PM EDT2014-04-16 18:46:32 GMT
    A video posted to YouTube showing a man getting kicked in the head by a person on a passing train has gone viral.
    A video posted to YouTube showing a man getting kicked in the head by a person on a passing train has gone viral.
  • Foul Play Suspected In Union Missing Person Investigation

    Foul Play Suspected In Union Missing Person Investigation

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:18 PM EDT2014-04-16 16:18:48 GMT
    Officers roped off the scene on Union BlvdOfficers roped off the scene on Union Blvd
    City of Union Public Safety investigators were called to the scene of a home on Union Boulevard Tuesday night to investigate a missing person case.
    City of Union Public Safety investigators were called to the scene of a home on Union Boulevard Tuesday night to investigate a missing person case.
  • Car Accident Killed Girls Missing Since 1971

    Car Accident Killed Girls Missing Since 1971

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:28 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:28:22 GMT
    The submerged car was found in Brule Creek in South Dakota in September 2013.The submerged car was found in Brule Creek in South Dakota in September 2013.
    Authorities say two South Dakota girls missing since 1971 died after driving into a creek on their way to a party at a nearby gravel pit.
    Authorities say two South Dakota girls missing since 1971 died after driving into a creek on their way to a party at a nearby gravel pit.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.