DEA to launch Arizona prescription drug crackdown

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The federal Drug Enforcement Administration is launching a new initiative in Arizona to crack down on the illicit sale and use of prescription drugs.

The new DEA initiative will include efforts to stop the diversion of narcotic pain medications from legitimate uses. They include targeting prescription forgery and fraud, doctor shopping by patients, pharmacy robberies and diversions to the illicit market by rogue pharmacies and physicians.

DEA spokeswoman Ramona Sanchez says details of the effort will be announced Wednesday by the special agent in charge of the DEA's Arizona operations, Doug Coleman.

The agency says a lucrative market in illegally diverted prescription drugs and the ease with which they can be obtained has led to a sharp increase in prescription drug abuse and heroin trafficking in Arizona.

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