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New Jersey Begins Tracking Prescription Drug Sales

Oxycodone

Oxycodone (credit: CBS 2)

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Authorities in New Jersey are now tracking narcotic painkillers, steroids and other prescription drugs.

“If all of a sudden, a smaller pharmacy has an unusually large amount of opiates or prescription medications that they’re prescribing, that will raise a red flag,” State Attorney General Jeff Chiesa said.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports

There’s a growing trend across the nation of “doctor shopping” in which addicts will go to various doctors getting numbers, otherwise, legitimate prescriptions.

“That’s the kind of thing we’re really targeting; both in terms of getting those folks help when they need because their physicians can see this behavior and react to it but also to make sure that the folks never distribute these for non-medical reasons that we’re able to identify them and deal with them,” Chiesa said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,  40 Americans a day die from prescription drug abuse — more than heroin and cocaine combined.

“The young folks who are becoming addicted to these painkillers is on the rise and it’s a very alarming trend,” Chiesa said.

The New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program has been collecting data from 2,000 pharmacies state-wide since last September.

Chiesa announced Wednesday that the program helped track down a person who allegedly obtained a four-month supply of oxydone and methadone by presenting prescriptions, which are believed to be forged, to three New Jersey pharmacies on 14 separate occasions.