Opioids, prescription drugs increasingly easy to order online, experts warn

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Internet users can order a wide range of painkillers without a prescription, leading to easy addictions, experts warn. (KABC)

With a few mouse clicks, Nathan Mizrahi was able to amass piles of prescription painkillers.

He didn't need a prescription - he just went straight to an online supplier.

On his credit card bill, it looked like he was purchasing from a toy store in Canada. His Percocet, Vicodin or OxyContin arrived in brown envelopes.

"They were coming in baggies from a woman's house with an address in the Philippines," he said.

Addiction specialist Dr. Stuart Finkelstein says he's seen drugs sold as Vicodin online laced with the even-more potent opiate Fentanyl, making it a potentially deadly high.

"It's really difficult to fight this epidemic especially since the drugs are just a click away," Finkelstein said.

In 2002, Mizrahi ruptured his Achilles tendon. His doctor prescribed two months' worth of Vicodin - which he quickly finished in two weeks.

At that point he says he became hooked.

Chasing those highs nearly cost Mizrahi his life until he sought help from Finkelstein.

Thanks to detox, counseling and medication that helps fight opioid dependency, he's been sober for three months.

But his online dealer won't leave him alone. He still gets calls from overseas and email offers, plus unauthorized charges and drugs appearing in the mail.

"These guys are essentially drug dealers," Finkelstein said. "Internet pushers. I don't see them being any different than the heroin dealers on the street."
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healthhealthy livingdrug addictionprescription drugsdrugs
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