I swear you have more to fear from shady doctors/pharmaceutical companies than your local coke dealer.
Baby died from an overdose of Xanax and oxycodone, notoriously abused prescription drugs that were in the house. The woman testified she crushed and inhaled the oxycodone to get high....you know, just like all doctors tell their patients to do.
I know--the thrust of the story is what happened to the baby--did the mom or the boyfriend administer these drugs to the child to kill her (mom has been convicted)? But the larger issue to me is how the hell does a seemingly healthy 24 year old get 'scripts for BOTH a powerful anti-depressant with addictive side effects and a powerful narcotic pain reducer with addictive side effects? There's so many of these pills now...all with some really bad side effects and addiction issues.
"Although she's not really ill...she's got those little yellow pills. She goes running for the shelter of her Mother's Little Helper..."--Rolling Stones
We have a pill-popping society. Wealth care has greatly over-ridden health care. Hence, Big Pharma is the dominant force, not the controls that were allegedly put in place for access to prescribed drugs.
I was offered some Vicodin or something just the other day from some girl on the street.
Patients/drug seekers doctor shop. I work in a doctors office and we check the narcotic database when we suspect someone is a drug seeker. You wouldn't believe what we find. People will travel into Michigan, to Findlay or wherever if they hear about a doctor who readily prescribes pain medication. I looked up a patient history to find she had seen 34 doctors in the last 12 months. She was either using or selling, or perhaps both. Unfortunately doctors are also economic creatures and they know who pads their pockets. To get a handle on this would require all doctors to be diligent in researching the patients use history and that isn't going to happen. The really bad doctors we eventually see on the evening news.
also, back pain is really hard to test for IF the pt has experience faking it. it's not unusual for a young man to have back pain, he could have gotten the script legitimately that way. Trixanne is right, I see our ER docs check the database all the time because they are the ones it's easiest to fake out. there's a limit to how much one person can get due to the database, so I imagine some of those drugs are being bought on the street, stolen by kids or grandkids from relatives with legitimate reasons for having them.