The "Black Box" of Prescription Drug Diversion
Department of Justice and Human Services
Journal of Addictive Diseases
A variety of surveys and studies are examined in an effort to better understand the scope of prescription drug diversion and to determine whether there are consistent patterns of diversion among various populations of prescription drug abusers. Data are drawn from the RADARS System, the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, the Delaware School Survey, and a series of quantitative and qualitative studies conducted in Miami, Florida. The data suggest that the major sources of diversion include drug dealers, friends and relatives, smugglers, pain patients, and the elderly, but these vary by the population being targeted. In all of the studies examined, the use of the Internet as a source for prescription drugs is insignificant. Little is known about where drug dealers are obtaining their supplies, and as such, prescription drug diversion is a "black box" requiring concentrated, systematic study.
Inciardi, J., Surratt, H., Cicero, T., Kurtz, S. P., Martin, S., & Parrino, M. (2009). The "Black Box" of Prescription Drug Diversion. Journal of Addictive Diseases, 28 (4), 332-347. https://doi.org/10.1080/10550880903182986