Of all the major drugs of abuse, only marijuana is available as a natural, harvested product. All of the others – whether illicit drugs such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, or legitimately produced pharmaceuticals – must be produced or manufactured.

Rx pillsMany problems associated with drug abuse are the result of legitimately-manufactured controlled substances being diverted from their lawful purpose into the illicit drug trade.

Diversion cases involve, but are not limited to, physicians who sell prescriptions to drug dealers or abusers; pharmacists who falsify records and subsequently sell the drugs; employees who steal from inventory; executives who falsify orders to cover illicit sales; prescription forgers; and individuals who commit armed robbery of pharmacies and drug distributors.

Many of the narcotics, depressants and stimulants manufactured for legitimate medical use are subject to abuse, and have therefore been brought under legal control. The goal of controls is to ensure that these substances are readily available for medical use while preventing their distribution for illicit sale and abuse.

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