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Prescription drugs hard to prosecute

Submitted by Alex Mills on April 8, 2012 – 1:36 pm2 Comments

Unlike “street” drugs such as heroin or cocaine, prescription drug abuse is a harder crime for law enforcement to tackle. Of the 1,400 reports made by UALR police in 2011, there were no instances of UALR students being arrested for possession of prescription drugs.

UALR Police Detective Joshua Webb explained that one of the reasons police do not identify students with prescription drugs is because they are unnoticeable.

“We don’t encounter them. Most of the time, they take them before they get here or leave them in the car,” Webb said.

The UALR police’s jurisdiction includes the area around Asher Avenue north to 19th Street and University west to Fair Park Boulevard. There were arrests made by UALR police for illegal possession of prescription drugs, but none of those arrested were UALR students.

The possession of legal narcotics without a prescription is a felony in the state of Arkansas. According to Pulaski County Depty Prosecutor, Vicky Ewenike, less than two grams of Hydrocodone, Adderall or Ritalin is punishable by up to six years in prison.

According to an article by CNN, the average cost of Oxycontin is $50 to $80 on the street while legally it is sold for $6. Oxycodone is sold between $12 and $40 compared to the retail price of $6. Hydrocodone is sold for $5 to $20, compared to $1.50 retail. Vicodin is sold for $5 to $25 compared to $1.50 retail.

If anyone wants to throw away their old prescription drugs, the Little Rock Police Department will take them; no questions asked.

2 Comments »

  • Candis Kloth says:

    I don’t think enough people realize how much of a problem this is in the US. Of course it’s going to be nearly impossible to prosecute RX drug trading – it’s so easy to do discreetly. Overall, I think this is just one more example of the flawed drug policies of prohibition and punishment. Whether it’s prescription opiates or heroin, these people need help – not fear of law enforcement.

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