ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Law enforcement agencies and drug treatment centers say prescription drug use continues to rise.
At the Keystone Substance Abuse Services in Rock Hill, prescription medicines have become the most treated type of substance at the detox center.
"Forty-six percent of our admissions this year have been for prescription drugs so far, as of the end of September," said Associate Director of KeyStone Substance Abuse Services Bonnie Gladden. "It has really taken over as our number one drug that we detox from."
Prescription Medicines, like oxycodone, hydrocodone and methadone, which are used to treat drug addition, have surged to the top of the list as the most abused drugs in York County, according to the York County Sheriff's Office.
Police say the ease with which abusers can get their hands on the drugs has helped in the surge.
Abusers can buy the medicines on the streets like other drugs, but because they are pills and not known substance makes it harder for police to notice.
"Women can walk around with a couple of loose pills in their purse. Guys can have loose pills in their pockets," said Mark Bollinger, spokesperson of the Rock Hill Police Department, "We have to catch them committing another crime." he said.
Police said they have ramped up efforts to catch prescription abusers, as well as adding prescription medicine drop boxes that are available at all police stations in the county. "They are available to use 24-7," said Bollinger.
Officers are also looking out for signs of prescription drug trafficking, he added.