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Conference looks at prescription drug abuse

v1ctor Casale

A two-day conference in Lansing is looking at ways to fight abuse and trafficking in prescription narcotics.

Health and law enforcement agencies say prescription drug addiction is a growing problem among teenagers.

Detroit U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade says southbound U.S. 23 and I-75 have become corridors for prescription drug traffic.

“So Michigan, for whatever reason, has become this origin state for pills, and one of the things I think we have a responsibility to do is go after the doctors and these pharmacists who are abusing their licenses to get these pills out on the market,” said McQuade. 

McQuade and other law enforcement officials say organized gangs are getting into the prescription drug trade.

“It’s actually a smart bet,” McQuade said. “The penalties are less severe and the money is very lucrative.”  

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.