United States

U.S. war on drugs moves to pharmacy from jungle


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A pharmacy employee dumps pills into a pill counting machine as she fills a prescription while working at a pharmacy in New York in this file photo taken December 23, 2009. Thousands of Americans are caught up in the U.S. government's latest front in the war on drugs: prescription painkillers. From 1999 to 2009, the number of deaths from narcotic pain pills nearly quadrupled to 15,597, more than those from heroin and cocaine combined, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In response, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has beefed up its efforts to block the diversion of prescription drugs to the black market, using many of the techniques it employs to combat illegal drug use: wire taps, undercover operations and informants. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/Files