American Morning

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July 1st, 2011
01:01 PM ET

Why is Mexico's drug violence America's problem too?: TIME magazine's Tim Padgett weighs in

Tim Padgett, Latin America Bureau Chief for TIME magazine, wrote the magazine's latest cover story, titled "The War next door: Why Mexico's drug violence is America's problem too," focusing on how the Mexican drug war has reached a turning point.

While violence is at an all-time high, public outrage has also reached new heights. Padgett joins Kiran Chetry today on American Morning to talk about a grassroots demonstration that has grown in the country and to comment on how both the US and Mexican governments are handling the drug war problem.

Read Padgett's article here.

Filed under: Drugs • Mexico
June 1st, 2011
09:58 AM ET

In Depth: The black market for prescription drugs

On American Morning this morning we're continuing CNN's In Depth look at our use of drugs and medication in the U.S.

Today, we're taking a closer look at the black market for prescription drugs. It's a billion-dollar business, and both dealers and addicts will do anything to get their hands on them. Some 1800 pharmacies have been robbed over the last three years across the country because the street value of these drugs is so high.

See the chart below, as reported by CNN's Poppy Harlow and

Oxycontin – could get $50 to $80 on the street, vs. $6 when sold legally
Oxycodone – could get $12 to $40 on the street, vs. $6 when sold legally
Hydrocodone – could get $5 to $20 on the street vs. $1.50 when sold legally
Percocet pill – could get $10 to $15 on the street vs. $6 when sold legally
Vicodin – could get $5 to $25 on the street vs. $1.50 when sold legally

This morning, pharmacist and executive committee member of the National Community Pharmacists Association Keith Hodges speaks with AM's Kiran Chetry. He's had to beef up security at his pharmacy, after a number of attempted break ins. He'll talk about how big a problem this is for him and other pharmacists across the country.

Filed under: Drugs • In Depth • Prescription drugs
May 31st, 2011
09:45 AM ET

Does good health come in a pill? Why Americans may put too much faith in drugs

This week, CNN's In Depth series is focusing on medication nation – and the state of prescription drugs in the United States.

Some unbelievable numbers to look at this morning. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 74% of doctor visits result in a prescription. Also, 48% of Americans regularly use at least one prescription drug and a whopping 75% of Americans – that's three out of four people - misuse their prescriptions or don't take them as directed.

What can be done about this over reliance on medication? This morning, Christine Romans talks with John Abramson, author of "Overdosed America" and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School. She asks him whether things have gotten out of control.

Filed under: Drugs • In Depth
August 11th, 2010
11:58 AM ET

Detectives, doctors try to stymie painkiller abuse

Editor's Note: You have seen the headlines from stars like Heath Ledger to Michael Jackson, but America's pill problem is growing in places far away from the spotlight. A new study says prescription drug overdoses were up by two thirds, from 1999 to 2006. Today in our original series "Addicted," Carol Costello shows us it can be deadly, not only for the addict, but for the doctor who comes between the addict and his fix.

By Brian Rokus, CNN

Louisville, Kentucky (CNN) – Detective Steve Watts is locking up another accused pain pill addict. But he's seen this suspect before.

She's back in handcuffs for the second time in less than a week. The charge this time, like it was just four days ago, is fraudulently obtaining prescription medication.

For Watts and the other detectives of the Louisville Police Department Prescription Drug Diversion Squad, it will be one of 500 to 600 arrests they make each year.

Even with arrests nearly every day, "We're just scratching the surface," according to Watts. The number of investigations the unit initiates is up 148 percent compared with a year ago.

It can be surprisingly easy to get prescription narcotics that are highly addictive, and they're highly profitable on the street. FULL STORY

Filed under: Addicted... • Drugs
May 11th, 2010
11:02 AM ET

Fighting America's prescription drug abuse

(CNN) – In our special series, "Addicted," we brought you Melissa's story. Like many kids her age, she experimented with drugs. Not what you'd typically think – street drugs – but prescription pills right out of her family medicine cabinet.

Stories like hers happen every day and the problem is growing. The latest government figures show abuse of some of the strongest types of prescription painkillers is up 400 percent over the decade. Deaths from these drugs are up 160 percent over just five years.

Today, the White House is launching a new drug strategy focusing on prevention and treatment. It also gives real attention to prescription drug abuse. The director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Gil Kerlikowske, joined us on Tuesday's American Morning.

Filed under: Addicted... • Drugs
May 11th, 2010
10:00 AM ET

Teen's battle & recovery from drug addiction

(CNN) – The White House today is set to release a new strategy to battle America's drug problem, shifting the focus from law enforcement to prevention and treatment. But that can be tricky, because the problem isn't always illegal drugs.

Across the nation, more and more teens are using prescription pills and over-the-counter medicines to get high. In our ongoing series, "Addicted," we're following the story of one teen, named Melissa. She nearly lost her life, and everything she used to get high could be right inside your medicine cabinet.

Filed under: Addicted... • Drugs
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