Detroit Helping Feed OxyContin Addiction in Eastern U.S.


A prescription painkiller dealer found in a West Virginia hotel was from Detroit, which authorities say is a hotbed for pain pills, especially OxyContin, with local drug runners routinely getting busted in the eastern and southern U.S., reports the Detroit Free Press. Dealers are getting the pills cheap from crooked local doctors and pharmacists, then selling them in other states for $125 a pill. “We’ve been a source of supply kind of down the I-75 corridor,” said Wayne Pratt, a federal prosecutor in Detroit. With OxyContin, he said, “There’s so much money in it that it’s drawn people into it.”

Says U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin of West Virginia, “Detroit, we love your cars. But we don’t love your drug dealers.” Based on drug dealers’ accounts here’s how it works: “They say, ‘You think there’s some big pot of pills up here in Detroit. There isn’t. We spend a few days hustling scripts up here on the street. Get people to go to the doctor. Get the pills. We bundle them together, then we come down from Detroit,’ ” Goodwin said, noting pain medication goes for big bucks in his communities. Goodwin said he has seen OxyContin sell for as much as $250 a pill. “This is the biggest crime problem I have in my district,” Goodwin said.

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