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Deadly Prescriptions: Crime Inc.—The Underground Economy

Retail prescription drug sales topped $300 billion in 2010 alone, and criminals are doing everything they can to get a piece of the market. This CNBC program takes a hard look at illegal enterprises that are spreading pain and suffering—not to mention addiction—across America. Viewers learn how drug dealers, bribed medical professionals, and online rogue pharmacies are helping put powerful prescription medicines like Oxycodone and Vicodin into the wrong hands—with tragic consequences. Nearly seven million Americans aged 12 and up are abusing prescription drugs each month, according to DEA figures from 2009, while the National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that misused prescriptions are now the leading cause of fatal overdoses nationwide.

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America's Secret Epidemic
Nearly 48 million Americans abuse prescription drugs. It is the second most abused drug behind marijuana. It is estimated nearly 26,000 people die a year. Drug Czar, Gil Kerlikowske makes prescription drug abuse a top priority.