Drug Dealers Tap Ohio Seniors for Pills

Oct 4, 2011

The state says drug dealers around Ohio are developing new sources for prescription painkillers by buying them from senior citizens, sometimes as the patients leave pharmacies.

The report by the Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network also blames the state's continuing rise of heroin use on addicts switching from prescription painkillers, which are more expensive and harder to obtain.

Orman Hall, director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, says once people become addicted to painkillers it's almost inevitable they'll switch to heroin.

The report to be released this week cites reports from Dayton, Youngstown and Toledo of drug dealers buying painkillers from seniors who often need the money to make ends meet.

The report says some dealers are even driving seniors to doctors' offices and pharmacies.