Have you ever wished there was something more you could do for a loved one who is caught in a cycle of drug addiction? Could making an anonymous tip to the DEA help?

Since 2004, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has been operating an international, toll-free hotline for callers to report the illegal sale, distribution, and abuse of prescription drugs such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Vicodin. Whether it is neighborhood drug sales or an online site that is distributing drugs illegally, you can help break the cycle of addiction by making tips to the DEA.

The Importance of a Hotline for Reporting Prescription Drug Activity

“With one simple call… people in the United States and Mexico have an anonymous, safe, and free way to bring information about suspected illegal pharmaceutical distribution to DEA,” explains DEA administrator Karen P. Tandy. “This information will greatly assist us in bringing drug dealers to justice and preventing the tragedies that come from prescription drug abuse.”

Whether substance use begins as a result of a doctor’s prescribed narcotic, or from intentional use as a way to “self-medicate” without doctor’s orders, effects of substance dependence and addiction are the same and can lead to the same end no matter where or how it first started out.

The 2015 National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that approximately 20.8 million people over age 12 struggled with a substance use disorder. Of that 20.8 million, 15.7 million people experienced an alcohol use disorder and 7.7 million people struggled with an illicit drug use disorder. These numbers may be underreported, as many people with substance use disorder may not be aware they have a problem, or they may not be ready to admit to having a problem.

The U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse has stated that an estimated  2.1 million people in the United States experienced unhealthy or addictive use of prescription opioid pain relievers in 2012. It is estimated that as many as 467,000 more are addicted to heroin, often in co-existence with prescription painkiller dependence.

The DEA is particularly interested in hearing from families whose loved ones have overdosed or died as a result of obtaining pharmaceuticals over the Internet. “Tips including the web addresses will help us put these pill pushers out of business,” Tandy says.

The Risks of Continued Prescription Drug Addiction

The health effects of prescription drug addiction are severe and extensive. Depending upon the drug of addiction, you may experience respiratory problems, liver and kidney damage, seizures, hallucinations, insomnia, acting without awareness, heart problems and more. Some medications lead to slow liver, kidney, or brain decline that culminate in fatal illness over time.

Drug overdose is always a risk, no matter how long a person has been taking his or her drug of choice, it is possible to experience injury, loss, and even death because of drug use. Dangerous or negligent actions that occur under the influence may hurt relationships or impede safety in life-threatening ways.Substance use can also alter perception and slow response time. Impaired breathing or circulatory problems may become fatal.

How to Help Get Prescription Drug Abuse under Control by Sharing What You Know

To make an anonymous report, you can visit the DEA’s website www.dea.gov or call 1-877-RxAbuse (1-877-792-2873). It’s a free call from anywhere in the United States and it helps those in the know get the necessary information to those who can effectively do something about it.

Would You Use a Drug Addiction Hotline?

Would you feel safe using an anonymous hotline like this one to tip off law enforcement to the illegal activities? Would you be willing to report your loved one? Or, would you rather report the source of your loved one’s supply? Do you think it would help your situation?

There are many ways to help a loved one. One way is to seek addiction treatment and consider the help of an experienced interventionist. With the right support, a family intervention or even a heart-felt conversation may help someone you care about. We offer a toll-free, completely confidential helpline that is not affiliated in any way with the DEA or any other law enforcement organization. Our team is composed of dedicated addiction recovery professionals that help families understand their treatment options. When you call us, a member of our team will take the time to listen to your concerns and help you find the best treatment option possible… before it is too late. Call us today to find out how we can help you.