Representatives from local law enforcement agencies met at Club Hood on Feb. 4 to participate in a training summit on prescription drug abuse.
The summit was organized and run by pharmaceutical company Purdue Pharma LP, which manufactures a number of prescription drugs including Oxycontin.
Issues addressed included prescription drug identification, lawful prescribing and prevention of diversion, pharmacy theft and pharmaceutical counterfeiting.
Fort Hood Police and its Criminal Investigation Division, Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Texas Fish and Wildlife, and the Killeen, Harker Heights, Belton and Morgan’s Point Resort police departments participated.
Lt. Carl Rinker, team chief of police investigation for Fort Hood, said such training would help officers deal with the challenges presented by prescription drug abuse.
“We have to make sure we are getting the information we need without violating doctor patient confidentiality,” he said.
Rinker said the kinds of prescription drugs abused by soldiers or their dependants was a mixed bag, but mentioned that painkillers were common. He attributed some of that to soldiers coming back from deployments with injuries.
Marc Whittaker, an agent with the CID’s Drug Suppression Taskforce, also attended the training. He said many potential prescription drug abuse cases are referred to CID based on urinalysis tests.
Whittaker also said the training on identifying different drugs and trends was also helpful to curbing abuse.
“Those who abuse these drugs are always trying to stay one step ahead of law enforcement,” he said.