Knoxville (WVLT) - West Knoxville's the hot spot for sales of the much-abused drug, Oxycontin. Two pharmacies in the Bearden area fill more prescriptions for the pain killer than other in the state.
Pill after pill...
"We do a lot of heart meds. We do a lot of cholesterol meds," Jim Peck says.
Pharmacist Jim Peck fills more than 400 prescriptions a day at Long's Pharmacy.
But when it comes to Oxycontin...
"Not a lot, compared to the total number of prescriptions we run through here," Peck says.
In fact, it's less than one percent. But the Knox County D.A's office says that's not the case in every pharmacy.
"We have a massive problem with Oxycontin and other prescription drugs," John Gill says.
The cost is clear.
"We have almost as many people dying from prescription drug overdoses as we do from homicides in the State of Tennessee," Gill says.
And Gill says two pharmacies in zip code 37919...
That's somewhere here in Bearden...bottle up more oxycontin than any other pharmacy statewide.
"I'm not really sure what that means," Gill says.
Which ones boast the sales?
"That came from law enforcement sensitive sources so I can't name those," Gill continues.
But that's doesn't mean pharmacists are breaking the law.
Even if pharmacists aren't doing anything wrong, and people come to the counter with a prescription, Gill says the number's are still a problem.
"When you've got more people dying from legal drugs than you do illegal drugs, and almost as many are drying from homicides....then you've got a problem," Gill says.
The solution could be a prescription monitoring program system now in the works.
"That's a computer based system to trace and identify problems where it appears people are getting drugs at too many different places," Gill says.
Until then, Peck will keep double counting...and asking customers questions.
"The only way we could do any better would be if we didn't stock it," Peck says.
To keep them safe.