Police: Prescription drug abuse a growing problem

Published 3:02 pm Wednesday, July 9, 2014

An arrest for unlawful possession of a controlled substance on July 7 is an example of the growing problem of prescription medication abuse, according to Clanton authorities.

John Wayne Montgomery was arrested on July 7 after officer Justin Beane, during a traffic stop, discovered that Montgomery possessed prescription medication in an inappropriate bottle, according to a Clanton Police Department press release.

One hundred Xanax bars were confiscated during the incident, according to the release.

One hundred Xanax pills were discovered and confiscated during a traffic stop on July 7.

One hundred Xanax pills were discovered and confiscated during a traffic stop on July 7.

“These type of cases are becoming more common,” CPD Capt. David Clackley said in the release. “The police department is continuing to see a rise in abuse of prescription medications as well as cases of doctor shopping and forging prescriptions.

“CPD would like to stress to everyone that the abuse of these medications has the same destructive effects as other drugs. Taking these illegally-obtained drugs without a doctor’s direction can lead to accidental overdose. Fatal overdoses occur when certain prescription drugs are taken together.”

Clackley said prescription drugs have possibly become more common because of their social acceptance–people don’t view taking a pill with the same stigma as smoking meth, for example, because pills are prescribed by doctors.

“It’s across the board,” Clackley said of the abuse of prescription drugs. “It’s the young people in high school, and it’s the older people who have had back trouble. It’s become a real big issue.”

Numbers showing the increase in prescription drug cases weren’t immediately available from CPD because the charge, “possession of a controlled substance,” applies to many different kinds of illicit drugs, thus making it difficult to produce a report on just how many of them are related to prescription medication.

To report information about illegal drug activity to CPD, call the department’s secret witness line at 755-1416, or email CPDnarcotics@clantonpd.org.