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Investigation Reveals Dirty Doctors, Internet Inflame New Jersey Drug Epidemic

Painkiller Pills (credit: AP)

Painkiller Pills (credit: AP)

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP)–An investigation uncovered crooked doctors, rogue Internet sites and web-based applications in New Jersey are stymieing attempts to fight an epidemic of heroin and prescription painkiller abuse.

A State Commission of Investigation hearing at the Statehouse Wednesday revealed teenagers are experimenting with pain drugs from their family medicine cabinets, getting addicted, then moving to injecting heroin once the pills stop getting them high.

“Today’s young teenagers starting with Percocet, Vicodin, Oxycontin are becoming tomorrow’s heroin junkies,” Patrick Hobbs said. “The demand for those drugs have spawned new levels of crime and violence.”

State agents say technological advances are making it harder for police to keep up. Pre-paid cellphones, smartphone applications that hide a user’s identity and social networks are enabling dealers and customers to evade detection.

Detective James Scoppa Jr. of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s office says “dirty doctors” who sell prescriptions for illegitimate uses are putting dangerous drugs into teenagers’ hands.

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