Bill Pushed To Stop Precription Abusers

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SCRANTON — Police in Lackawanna County say illegal prescription drug use in on the rise and they tell us those drug users are the most difficult to catch.

So, Senator Bob Casey had our area in mind when he sponsored a bill to prevent the problem.

Police in Lackawanna County say here and nationally, the abuse of prescription medication has quadrupled in the last decade and they say that problem begins at places like DePietro’s Pharmacy in Dunmore but the people who dispense the drugs have no way of telling who is abusing them. That’s what this proposed bill would change.

Senator Bob Casey chose the Lackawanna County district attorney’s office to announce he’s sponsoring a senate bill aimed to help combat prescription drug abuse because if you go by the statistics, Lackawanna County is a big part of the growing problem.

Pennsylvania has the third highest number of heroin users in the country, and Lackawanna County is among the highest in overdoses. Police say prescription pain pills are thought to be heroin’s gateway drug.

“Preventing someone from abusing opiate prescription drugs before they even get to the point getting anywhere near heroin, or on the path to getting to heroin,” said Sen. Robert Casey,(D) Pennsylvania.

The bill Senator Casey is proposing would put a lot of rules in place for doctors and pharmacies to track patient’s prescription use and develop a statewide database of patients for doctors and pharmacies to track drug abusers.

“I think if doctors or pharmacists can have this information available to them pursuant to a database, that would be very important to keep these individuals from becoming full-blown addicts and then going out and committing other crimes in our community,” said Lackawanna County District Attorney Andy Jarbola.

Pharmacists we spoke with say they back the proposed bill because they say it’s nearly impossible to tell which patients truly need prescription pain medications like Oxycontin and which patients are abusing it.

“Basically the only thing we have right now is our intuition and a lot of legwork,” said Tom DePietro, owner of DePietro’s Pharmacy in Dunmore.

DePietro says he sometimes works with insurance companies to stop drug abusers but there has never been a way to share their information with police.

“It’s going to create a safer environment for, not only us as pharmacists, but for the physicians and the patients.”

Senator casey says the proposed bill that would develop that database is still in the very early stages in Washington but has a lot of support so far.


  • Bill

    most chronic pain can be relieved through diet even cured with wholesome organic foods, raw foods and tissue cleansing, medical-marijuana is for dope-heads as smoking it is the worst form of intake – stupor does not = cure, just makes people stupid so they vote for people that want to keep them stupid, marijuana should be legal for all the other things its actually useful for, topically and internally via the oil NOT SMOKED for cancers and pain (the amount needed is so minute no stupor with it), fibers for textiles, paper etc – Big G wants you to stay unhealthy and stupid and on drugs and eating posion

    • e

      Why is it the people with the worst grammar I have ever seen repeatedly accuse others of being stupid when posting comments? If they had the world figured out they wouldn’t be poor and living in this region, so it makes sense. I’m not even sure Bill’s comment qualifies as english. lol.

      • Bill

        e, welcome to the wonderful world of electrons, now go smoke some more dope – Dopey (pronounced doh-pee)

  • angus

    Anything from scum Casey I Take with a grain of salt. So he has no real plan, has people back the idea, gets the law passes, then makes the rules, Then in the long run only hurts people who really need them. Yup, sounds like casey, Democrat with no real solution!!!

  • Me

    Legalize marijuana. It’s all natural. Grown from the earth. Given by God. But yet politicians can’t see the light. The government would rather help doctors by jacking up prices for health care every single year. People cannot afford to eat or heat their homes anymore and it’s all thanks to this lousy govt. Prescriptions are the govts way of keeping you “hooked in the system so you keep paying. DO NOT give into politicians. Vote every last one of them out. They are thieves of thieves. Thieving runs in families in luzerne county and the ghetto of hazleton.
    I do not believe in taking pills not knowing what is in them
    Corbett is a dope. Vote john hanger for governor. That’s the first step.
    And this bob Casey is another one. The only reason he got voted in was because of daddy’s name.
    Go ahead Pa. Keep voting these dopes into office. You’ll learn the hard way !

  • JK

    I am a person who suffers from chronic pain. It is already hard enough to get the medication I need. Opiate prescriptions cannot be sent electronically or over the phone; one has to go to the doctor and sign for the script then hand carry it to the pharmacy. Also thanks to big government I have to stand in line at the pharmacy when I’m suffering from a cold in addition to my chronic illness just to get decongestants which also must be signed for. I wish those who want all this government intervention which has just made everything so much better (NOT!) got to experience the consequences in their own lives day to day but it always seems they wish it upon others. They don’t take the time to consider who else new laws will effect. Under Obamacare my monthly insurance went from 52.27 a month to almost 300 a month also there are deductables and copays. And big government Bob was for that too. And don’t get me started on the loss of privacy in this country. But no one cares about that. After all if you aren’t doing anything wrong what do you have to worry about?

  • CCKM

    You are all so right! Scrips have been addictive in of themselves for years, and they seemed to have no problem for the last 20 years giving “stimulants” to 6 yr olds either, (wonder if that’s what bred some of today’s speed freaks?), or tranqs to our mothers, and how they have doling out psych drugs like M&M’s to treat depression all of a sudden pain-killers are a source of heroin addiction? I don’t recall that being a factor in the 70’s when heroin use was rampant thruout the streets of many cities back then! You have to treat the addicts, arrest the middlemen, and annihilate the ditributors and leave our painkillers alone!

    • sherry

      if you want to get technical here, our government is the distributors, how do you think the majority of cocaine and heroin get into this country, the good ole govenrment, its a big money making scam that will never end, and then they want to blame everyone else, they all need to take a good look in the mirror for the answers to the countrys drug problems, pain killers arent the gateway drug to heroin, the dea is, believe me!!!!

  • Eric R

    Personally I have no problem with heroin addiction as long as the right people are addicted. My family, unfortunately, moved to Scranton when I was young and I had to tolerate vile scum every day I lived there. I DO NOT find it a coincidence that the very same trash I had to tolerate is now pushing a needle into their veins several times a day. That is called poetic justice. The funniest part is they all blame an injury for their addiction! Hurt my back and I got addicted to painkillers. Lol. These people were always worthless human beings, but now at least the suffering they very much deserve is making someone a great deal of money. Abusive people always get what they deserve and heroin addiction is just one way it’s delivered. Maybe in the past they should have treated people better.

      • Eric R

        Well Bill Williams I have already been severly injured in my lifetime and I could not wait to stop taking the pain meds that were prescribed to me. The side effects were almost as bad as the pain they were relieving, so they weren’t much use really. I don’t have an addictive personality, unlike so many others or maybe yourself.

  • bob snyder

    these law makers are ridiculous! how stupid r they!? they say they want 2 stop people from doing heroin but what the hell do these people think is going 2 happen? if they stop people from getting pain pills when they r in PAIN all that’s going 2 do is make people turn to heroin!! I broke a tooth a while back and I was in so much pain and when I went 2 the hospital they treated me like a pill junkie. I couldn’t sleep for 2 days and if I wasn’t strong willed I might have turned 2 something else to ease my pain. why do we say we live in a free country when this place is as bad as Russia!! all this bill is going 2 do is have drs and pharmacists treat ALL of us like junkies! if they want 2 stop the junkies all they have 2 do is watch the people who go to 5 different drs every other day with a different problem because they r the pill junkies!! but I bet u if senator bob casey or his wife or kids got hurt they wouldn’t have a problem getting pain pills. try this bob casey, instead of trying to control our people and take away there freedoms,if u r truly care about our people then don’t make it hard for good people 2 get medicine when we really need it, how about u help these junkies by getting state grants for people 2 go rehab and educate them about drug abuse! its like 7,000 a week to go to rehab where at least they try to make a difference! but u and all the other law makers wont do that cuz theres no money in it for u!! it wont b long b4 theres another revolution in this communist country because of people just like u!!

    • Me

      Bob Snyder does not seem to realise that addiction is the economic cornerstone of Scranton, and has been for decades. There is more than a 90% failure rate for people entering rehab for drugs. Addicts make certain people, who have invested in the proper businesses, in this area very wealthy on a daily basis. The health and well being of the people does not matter, only money matters to those in charge of Scranton.

      • bob snyder

        u would think they make enough money at the court house with fines and drug court and probation! by them policing these drugs all the people who take them will have no choice but 2 turn 2 heroin they cant get there fix. the bottom line is the junkies r going 2 get there fix 1 way or another and the only ones bob casey is hurting r the good people who really need this medicine when they get hurt and they wont b able 2 get it so even the good people will turn 2 dope watch and see

  • Me

    This article states “Pennsylvania has the third highest number of heroin users in the country, and Lackawanna County is among the highest in overdoses. Police say prescription pain pills are thought to be heroin’s gateway drug.” Really? All the locals claim that marijuana is the gateway drug that leads to heroin. That’s odd, or maybe it makes perfect sense because everyone spouting that nonsense is addicted to prescription drugs. Take as much as you want as long as it’s legal, isn’t that right? Lol.

  • Mike

    The junkies will still find a way. Doctors won’t be pulling back when it comes to handing this garbage out. It’s money for them too

Comments are closed.

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