People die from overdoses of prescription painkillers more than cocaine or heroin.
With the now-widespread use of mobile phones in mind, the Philadelphia office of the Drug Enforcement Administration launched an anonymous texting tip line for people to alert authorities about fraudulent use of prescription drugs.
The Philly DEA office said in a statement that to use the service on a cell phone, enter Tip411 (847411) in the “To” field, and the keyword “ RXTIP” followed by the tip information in the text field.
The system uses technology created by Citizen Observer, a firm whose web site says it "is a web based notification toolset for law enforcement that enables citizens to receive and respond to text, email, and web alerts from your agency."
Anyway, the technology removes the sender’s telephone number and other identifying information before the tip is sent to DEA. The service allows the agent to follow up with the sender in a response text, but the sender remains completely anonymous throughout the conversation.
“In Pennsylvania and Delaware, prescription drug abuse has infiltrated our communities with abuse rates climbing each year," David G. Dongilli, special agent in charge of the Philadelphia division of the DEA said in a statement. "In addition, there is a strong connection between drug abuse and other forms of criminal activity including; prescription and health care fraud, vandalism, burglaries, money laundering and violence. This service enables citizens, pharmacists, doctors, and nurses to communicate directly and anonymously with a DEA agent in an effort to work together to combat this epidemic of prescription drug abuse.”
The Philly DEA office said it would like parents, and their children to visit the following websites at www.justthinktwice.com, www.getsmartaboutdrugs.com, and www.dea.gov to learn more about prescription controlled substance abuse.