According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, there were multiple independent investigations last year by the investigators of the Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigations Division together with agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration. The aim was to identify the individuals and criminal organizations suspected of prescription drug fraud. Several suspects were put behind bars as they conspired to obtain controlled substances fraudulently. Some of these substances include hydrocodone, clonazepam, alprazolam, Promethazine with codeine, Zolpidem Tartrate, Fentanyl, tramadol, and Lyrica phentermine.
For a very long time, the use of these prescription drugs is a highly significant problem surrounding the community. According to the AMA Journal of ethics, prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in the USA. It has been around since the 1970s when the government was trying to put legislative control over the problem. The illegal dispensing of prescription drugs has a leading role in the high number of unintentional deaths in America. The CDC registers over 702,000 people that have died from a drug overdose from 1999 to 2017. The year 2017 alone had more than 70,000 people dying due to an overdose, with 68 percent of the total number of deaths being through illegal opioid prescriptions.
The DEA has put in place regulations and penalties to help minimize prescription fraud and abuse. Anyone that violates the various drug laws put in place may end up remitting hefty fines, in jail, or losing their ability to prescribe controlled substances. A physician that violates the set rules may lose their medical license and may receive prosecution for violating the controlled substance laws.