"Cashing In" On Prescription Drug Abuse

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While the majority of prescription drug purchases go through a national data system, that applies to purchases made with a credit or health care card.

But law enforcement officials find more and more
are being made with cash, in an apparent attempt to get around the system. Wood County's sheriff surveyed a handful of local pharmacies to see if they knew how cash purchases are handled.

"They do not know when an individual comes in and pays cash for their prescription drugs," says Sheriff Jeff Sandy. "Two of the four felt it was being reported with the board of pharmacy. Two did not know if, in fact, it was."

The West Virginia Deputy Sheriff's Association also wants cash purchases to go thorugh a national data collection system. In the past decade, prescription drug abuse has become a larger and larger issue.

"You do not have to take it to a pawn shop. You do not have to advertise it for sale," says Sheriff Sandy. "You have a group of individuals out there who will buy all pharmaceutical drugs that you can supply them."

A concern as well: drug trafficking. most of West Virginia's population lives within 30 minutes of the state's border.

The sheriffs association says pharmacies fill more prescriptions per capita in West Virginia, than in any other state.

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