Two women in Portland, Tennessee, were recently indicted on multiple counts of drug fraud, after local police found hundreds of prescription pills in their homes. Jerry Waters and Barbara Davis are accused of obtaining drugs through doctor shopping with the intent to sell them. This type of incident is becoming more common in the state. Law enforcement officials tell The Tennesseean, a Nashville publication, that despite the decrease in prescription drug abuse nationwide, it's still a major problem in Tennessee.
"It's out of control — the prescription narcotics are everywhere," said Portland police officer Jason Arnold to the source. "A day doesn't go by that I don't deal with someone who's addicted to it, or people who are buying and selling it, or I don't get a complaint from doctors and pharmacies that people are abusing it."
According to the Tennessee Medical Association, the state ranks second for prescription drug abuse. The organization attributes most of the blame to the state's lax oversight of pill mills and lack of an efficient prescription monitoring system. Waters and Davis took advantage of the flaws by visiting multiple doctors in different towns around Nashville and on Ohio. Between July 2012 and May 2013, the obtained over 1,400 pills such as oxycodone, hydrocodone and Xanax.
The state of Tennessee recently launched a new prescription drug monitoring database. Law enforcement officials hope that it will help them be better able to catch doctors who are over prescribing drugs and individuals who are obtaining them with intent to sell.