Prescription Drug Traffic on the Rise in Michigan

Prescription drug traffic and health care fraud are on the rise in Michigan and Ohio, says the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The U.S. Attorney’s Office indicted dozens of alleged drug traffickers in late March for a scheme that included money laundering and prescription drug fraud.

Health Care Fraud and Trafficking

“The drug and alcohol trafficking leading to health care fraud is robbing drug abuse prescriptions,” said Barbara L. McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.

According to McQuade, the recent drug smuggling charges involved:

  • Oxycontin
  • Vicodin
  • Xanax
  • Cough syrup with Codeine

Pharmacists and a home health care agency were allegedly making false claims to Medicaid, Medicare and private insurers to obtain the drugs. They were then selling the prescription painkillers in exchange for financial kickbacks.

Recent Detroit Indictments

Last year, ten Detroit and Ohio residents were indicted and convicted in a similar prescription drug smuggling ring. The prescription drugs are moving from Detroit to Portsmouth and into neighboring communities as far as Huntington, West Virginia.

McQuade stressed that the recent case is just one example of how prescription drug smuggling is on the rise not only in Ohio and Michigan, but throughout the United States.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

An estimated 7 million Americans abuse prescription drugs each year, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. Drugs like OxyContin, Xanax, and Vicodin are habit-forming and highly addictive. More than 120,000 Americans end up in the emergency room each year from prescription drug overdoses, according to the American Society of Intervention Pain Physicians.

A Serious Problem in Michigan, and Across the Country

The latest prescription drug trafficking and health care fraud case is another example of how organized crime and drug abuse are still a serious problem facing Michigan, Ohio and states across the country. Many individuals who are addicted to prescription drugs rely on “doctor shopping” in order to obtain multiple prescriptions. Individuals who are addicted may crush or snort pills in order to obtain a faster rush.

Freedom Drug Rehab Can Help

If a loved one is struggling with prescription drug addiction, willpower alone is not enough to overcome this addiction. Since prescription drugs can be obtained legally, it is difficult to prevent a loved one from obtaining and abusing drugs.

Treatment at a rehabilitation center like Freedom Drug Rehab is the best way to successfully overcome addiction and live a sober life.