Rachael Hare, a recovering addict from Stroudsburg calls it a vicious cycle
Over the past few years - addiction claimed many young people in the Poconos.
"We all kind of became addicted to pills together." said recovering addict Lyndsay Circelli of Bangor
"The addiction, it forms very, very fast." notes her brother, Justin
Police tell Eyewitness News - over the past few years the popularity of drugs like marijuana decreased while prescription pill abuse soared.
"They were everywhere. i remember everyone had them." Rachael Hare told eyewitness news
"They had actually told us that it was easier to get Oxycodone 30 milligram tablets than it was to get someone to go to the liquor store."
Troy Serfass worked as a narcotics agent for the Pennsylvania Attorney General during "Operation Script King," a massive two-and-a-half year investigation involving seven law enforcement agencies.
"We joined resources. We shared information and were able to identify exactly where the scripts were coming from."
It all started with a tip. A concerned mother told E. David Christine , the Monroe County District Attorney. She believed her daughter was involved with a drug dealer.
"We can credit a parent's concern, one over their child's health and welfare, but also the willingness to try and get law enforcement help, not only to help their child but as importantly to put a stop to what was going on."
Investigators traced illegal prescriptions back to a New York City doctor's office.
They discovered the office manager was selling prescriptions to two drug dealers in the Poconos.
Those dealers had people fill the prescriptions at various pharmacies.
"They would be able to feed their addiction by filling the scripts and be able to also sell some on the street to make a profit to cover their addiction." Said Troy Serfass, a Narcotics Agent with PA Attorney General’s Office
Those dealers put tens-of-thousands of pills - worth millions of dollars - on the streets.
Police eventually charged 52 people in the case.
It put a major roadblock in the pill-supply chain - but the fight is far from over..
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