$1 million worth of prescription drugs seized in Louisiana State Police operation in Baton Rouge

Nearly $1 million worth of prescription medication was seized from multiple houses and a storage facility in East Baton Rouge Parish in late October, reported the Times-Picayune. The seizure is the culmination of an ongoing police investigation that began earlier this year in response to multiple pharmacy burglaries, according to Louisiana State Police Lt. J. B. Slaton. Police executed three search warrants and made six arrests in conjunction with the seizures.Police determined early in the investigation that the burglaries were interconnected, according to a new release from Slaton. Investigators noticed that the break-ins were a similar style due to the fact that suspects used tools to gain entry to the pharmacies. State police also believe the suspects were responsible for several pharmacy burglaries in Mississippi, too.According to the Times-Picayune, investigators believe that Shelton Broadway, 41, Keeshla Stagg, 39 and Ladnell Womack 27, were responsible for the pharmacy burglaries; all there were arrested on these charges. Joshua D. Womack, 18, and Roderick Harris, 27, were arrested for resisting arrest. Montrel Stagg, 27, was also arrested and booked on simple battery. During the seizures, police found tools they believed to have been used in the pharmacy burglaries, along with multiple pill bottles, a handgun and a rifle.

Drug Overdose Deaths Triple in Louisiana in the Last Decade

Louisiana has the 19th highest drug overdose mortality rate in the Unites States, according a 2013 report by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH). The number of drug overdose deaths, the majority of which are from prescription drugs, has tripled in Louisiana since 1999. Louisiana is one of 10 states nationwide where drug overdose rates have tripled.In response to the growing prescription drug epidemic and this increase in drug overdose rates, Louisiana has taken several important steps to decrease the use of drugs. The state has a mandatory prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) in place along with laws designed to prohibit “doctor shopping”, a common practice where patients visit multiple physicians in order to obtain multiple prescriptions. The state’s physical exam requirement also mandates that physicians have a bona-fide relationship with their patients before prescribing any medications.

Prescription Pill Crackdown May Have Unintended Consequences, Rise in Heroin Abuse

Louisiana state officials are now facing the difficult challenge of balancing a crackdown on prescription drugs with an increase in heroin use. The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program has effectively made it difficult for addicts to procure pills from their doctors. To get their fix, addicts must either turn to either purchasing their drugs illegally through operations like the one state police busted in October – or turn to heroin for a cheaper high that’s easier to obtain. While prescription drugs remain one of the state’s top problems, heroin overdoses are also on the rise.

“It’s an unintended consequence of a fabulous new system,” Dr. Granville Morse, an emergency room physician, told the Times-Picayune last year. Now state officials are looking for ways to curb heroin overdoses as well.

Seeking Help for Prescription Drug Abuse

As the recent $1million drug seizure indicates, prescription drug abuse remains big business for drug dealers and a serious problem for individuals who are addicted. The good news is that with the right treatment, sobriety is possible. If you or a loved one are struggling with prescription drug abuse, talk to an addiction specialist about your treatment options. The right treatment program will help individuals safely detox from prescription drug abuse and include counseling that helps address root causes for this abuse. Talk to a treatment center to learn more.
Sources http://www.nola.com/crime/baton-rouge/index.ssf/2014/10/3_million_worth_of_prescriptio.html http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2013/11/deadly_overdoses_prescription.html http://healthyamericans.org/reports/drugabuse2013/release.php?stateid=LA

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