Tip line created for reporting pill mills, drug seekers

February 27, 2014

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has created a prescription drug abuse tip line in Georgia that will allow healthcare professionals and the public to anonymously report Rx abuse.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has created a prescription drug abuse tip line in Georgia that will allow healthcare professionals and the public to anonymously report Rx abuse.

Tipsters can either text ``PILLTIP’’ or their tip to TIP411 or call 404-893-7324. The message will be forwarded to a DEA agent. A similar program is being tested in the Philadelphia area.

In the past three years, prescription drug deaths in Georgia have exceeded the number of deaths from all other illegally used drugs combined.

"The illegal prescription drug market and relative ease of which pharmaceutical substances can be obtained has resulted in a sharp increase in prescription drug abuse," said Harry Sommers, special agent in charge of the DEA's Atlanta division.

While DEA officials are not expecting tons of tips through the tip line, they believe the leads they do receive will be high-quality ones. DEA is also sending education packets with tips to 1,200 pharmacies in the Atlanta area.

 

The guides offer numerous tips for pharmacy workers to help them spot bogus prescriptions and drug seekers. It includes tricks and scams that drug seekers use, including calling pharmacies and masquerading as doctors, stealing prescription pads, and altering a legitimate prescription with a different call-back number that rings to an accomplice.

It also warns pharmacists to look out for customers who return too regularly or people who bring prescriptions for stimulants and depressants at the same time, as some people who are addicted to prescription painkillers will seek “uppers” and “downers” simultaneously. According to the guide, prescriptions with all the words spelled out or with perfect handwriting are also suspicious.

 

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