There was no such rise in admissions for abuse of alcohol, cocaine and heroin, which are not readily purchased online. A previous study found a nearly fivefold increase from 1997-2007 in admissions for abuse of narcotic painkillers.
Illegitimate pharmacies on the Internet do not require a patient to visit a physician in advance to obtain a prescription. Some of them are "questionnaire pharmacies," which require users only to complete an online questionnaire before medication is dispensed.
Read the Health Affairs study on prescription drug abuse.
Related Articles on painkiller prescriptions:Ohio Prioritizes Reducing Painkiller Abuse