Local law enforcement address prescription drug abuse
SAN DIEGO (KUSI) — Prescription drug abuse is at epidemic proportions in this country and that includes San Diego County.
On Tuesday, federal law enforcement officials discussed the problem, in addition to unveiling a new documentary addressing Opioid-Opiate abuse.
His music was transcendent to many, but unfortunately, Prince is also the face of this country’s prescription drug epidemic.
The musician and entertainer had an addiction to Percocet for decades and died from an accidental overdose of the opiod fentanyl, a drug 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin.
At the San Diego headquarters of the Drug Enforcement Administration, we learned that while our issues here are not nearly as severe as those in other parts of the country, 247 people locally, died last year of prescription-related overdoses. That’s almost five a week.
Ninety deaths were attributed to overdoses of heroin or a combination of heroin and prescription meds. When the pill addiction gets too expensive, the abuser turns to heroin, which believe it or not, is much cheaper there days.
"We have growing concerns that the opiate addiction elsewhere could hit here with as much impact as we’ve seen in midwest and northeast," said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy.
Duffy said the concern has led to a redoubling of local law enforcement efforts.
The DEA and the FBI called it chasing the dragon.
It is raw and graphic and is now available to schools and drug prevention groups nationwide.