Prescription drug abuse is an increasing problem in Wisconsin and across the nation. Sometimes it comes about when a patient who needs the drug develops an addiction to it and continues taking it long after it's medically necessary. Other times it's never prescribed to the user, and is instead purchased the way illicit drugs are: on the street or from someone else who has access to it.
As this type of drug abuse becomes more common, law enforcement agencies are becoming increasingly vigilant in their investigations of suspected drug users. Doctors, pharmacists and other health care providers are advised and trained to look for red flags that signal possible abuse, increasing the chance that someone abusing prescription drugs will be caught and prosecuted.
Police are hoping to catch such a suspect in Milwaukee. A 42-year-old woman was arrested in September at a pharmacy and accused of attempting to fill a prescription for oxycodone, a powerful painkiller and one of the most commonly abused drugs. The pharmacist became suspicious and called police, who confirmed that the woman was not a patient of the doctor who wrote the prescription. Police said the woman told them that the prescription was for a man who filled it out in front of her and offered her $200 in exchange for the pills. She has since been issued an arrest warrant after failing to show up for her court date.
An employee at the pharmacy in her case said because prescriptions are so often fraudulent, workers pay close attention to the validity of each one. It's this increased attention to detail that has resulted in more arrests for prescription drugs.
There are, of course, many people who genuinely need these drugs, and it's possible for a pharmacist, doctor or law enforcement officer to confuse legitimate use with criminal activity. If you've been accused of fraud or another crime involving prescription drugs, you may benefit from seeking the help of an attorney experienced in defending drug charges.
Source: ShorewoodPatch.com, "Authorities Looking for Milwaukee Woman Facing Felony Drug Charge after Missing Court Date," Kaitlyn Lucier, Dec. 20, 2011