For a “Crimetime in Primetime” segment of “Craig Investigates” appearing on the January 7, 2013 episode of “Geraldo at Large,” Craig Rivera addressed America’s prescription drug abuse problem after the owner of the LA Clippers’ son was found dead of an apparent drug overdose.
The segment began with Craig Rivera interviewing three teens who described their addiction to a number of drugs such as heroin, Percocet, and the most common, oxycontin. The latter opiate is a popular painkiller that can be snorted or injected for a more intense high and is the drug of choice for many teens across the United States. Today, prescription drug abuse contributes to 20,000 overdose deaths and is the main reason for the increase in drug related crimes.
Craig Rivera addressed the horrifying story of David Lather, who robbed a Long Island pharmacy of 11,000 hydrocodone pills. In his desperation, he shot and killed four victims. New Jersey’s Essex County Sheriff Armondo Fontura claims that crimes around pharmacies are turning into a very common, yet very serious problem.
Drug manufacturers have changed the formula of oxycontin pills in order to make them harder to abuse. Unfortunately, this merely caused addicts to turn to heroin, which is cheaper and easier to obtain. The heroin epidemic is so extreme that special task forces have been established to address the issue.
Brian Gamrello works in a rehabilitation facility where he treats addicted teens. He claims opiates, such as oxycontin, are the gateway to full blown heroin addictions. Teen interviewees agree, claiming that most of their friends who are addicted to heroin started with pills. Furthermore, they claimed that heroin abuse is so common in their school that it has been nicknamed ‘Heroin High.’
Craig Rivera finishes the segment by stating that dependence on painkillers is not limited to teens. He addresses soccer moms, doctors, and even police officers who suffer from this addiction as well.
Hooked on a High: America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Problem from Craig Rivera on Vimeo.