Prescription Pills An "Epidemic" Says Sheriff Carter

Prescription drugs arrests are making up more than half of the departments total arrests this year, according to Sheriff Tracy Carter. “It’s worse than crack cocaine,” Carter said. “It’s just a problem ... and not just here, but everywhere. And we want to do all we can to investigate these folks who get the pills and distribute them illegally, but we need some help.”
Adding to the problem the Sheriff says, is the department’s lack of access to North Carolina’s Controlled Substances Reporting System, a database of patient prescriptions that includes the physicians who approve them. Currently, only practitioners, special agents of State Bureau of Investigations and a handful of other organizations can access the database, and Carter said he and other law enforcement officials want the same access to speed up the arrest process and pinpoint the origin of the drugs.
The Sheriff has teamed up with State Rep. Jimmy Love Sr. (D-Sanford), who said he is interesting in sponsoring or supporting a bill at the next General Assembly that would give sheriffs and sheriff’s deputies access to the database. Carter said he currently has more than 20 prescription drug cases pending because of his department’s lack of access (he said the SBI has only “eight or nine” agents who do have access, and waiting for an agent can take months). Love said the subject came up in the General Assembly in 2009 and was moved to a study commission, where it currently sits.“If the problem is as bad as they say it is, and I certainly think it is, then they need all the tools they can get,” Love said. “If we can get them access, they can get ahead of the game instead of having to wait for the SBI all the time. They’ve got enough on their plate.” More to follow on this topic...

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