DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Those who think opioids enter their neighborhoods by way of late night drug deals are likely mistaken.
Bob Walling is a drug investigator with the Westshore Enforcement Bureau. He was surprised when he took a friend's prescription to be filled at a pharmacy. Knowing that drugs are well-tracked from manufacturer to pharmacy, he still got the prescription with no ID asked for.
"Each question they asked of me, I didn't know and I didn't know, and I still walked out with a prescription," he said.
"The one exception is when it leaves the pharmacy. We don't know exactly who takes the pill out of the pharmacy because anyone can pick up a prescription from a pharmacy for someone else," he said of the tracking.
In 2013, Walling testified in Columbus in favor of a bill that would require pharmacists to get a name, ID and number from the ID before handing out pills.
Pharmaceutical companies got it shot down, so tracking pills remains nearly impossible. A recent case where the person who wrote a fake prescription to obtain 6,200 pills proved it.
Currently, most prescriptions are written on tamper proof paper -- they all have some kind of tampering device on them. In one case there's an RX on the
back, you can scratch it off and that tells you it's an actual prescription.
Another challenge are doctors running lucrative pill mills.
"Doctor would ask two questions," says Greg Mehling with the Lorain County Drug Task Force, describing a recent case. "What's your name and what do you want, and prescriptions would be $100 each or six for $500. That's medical prostitution -- that's not good medicine."
These days Mehling says Percocet 10 is the drug of choice. In effect, it is clinical heroin.
In the case of opioids, the hangover is more and more often death.