Friday, June 3, 2011

Black-Market Value of Antipsychotics, Antidepressants, and Hypnotics in Las Vegas, Nevada -- TARASOFF and OSTI 164 (2): 350 -- Am J Psychiatry

Las Vegas, Nev.

To the Editor: To our knowledge, this letter represents the first effort to document the monetary value of several antipsychotic and antidepressant medications outside of a custody setting on the black-market in a major U.S. city. The monetary value of benzodiazepines and narcotics in Canada has been previously published (1), and we include a few of these medications in this letter as well. Stimulants are not included in this letter because of insufficient reports of street prices in our cohort.

Several reports have documented the potential misuse of medications, not traditionally considered to be addictive, for recreational purposes, primarily in custody settings. These include quetiapine (2, 3), anticholinergics (4), and tricyclics (5).

When publicly funded outpatient clinic staff members were asked if they had any suspicions about misuse of these medications, many said that they had heard of patients selling their medications on the street, and several suspected that some patients feigned psychosis to obtain medications to sell.

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