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Conference Looks At Prescription Drug Abuse In Michigan

bottle of pills

A two-day conference in Lansing is looking at ways to fight abuse and trafficking in prescription narcotics.

We have more from The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta.

Health and law enforcement agencies say prescription drug addiction is a growing problem among teenagers.

   Detroit US Attorney Barbara McQuade says southbound US 23 and I 75 have become corridors for prescription drug traffic.

 “So Michigan, for whatever reason, has become this origin state for pills, and one of the things I think we have a responsibility to do is go after the doctors and these pharmacists who are abusing their licenses to get these pills out on the market,” she says.

McQuade and other law enforcement officials say organized gangs are getting into the prescription drug trade because of the profits -- but also because the penalties are not as harsh as those for dealing marijuana, heroin and cocaine.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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