Pills line the shelves in the pharmacy at Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles

 
Pills line the shelves in the pharmacy at Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles
Pills line the shelves in the pharmacy at Venice Family Clinic in Los Angeles in this file photo taken April 16, 2007. Thousands of Americans are caught up in the U.S. government's latest front in the war on drugs: prescription painkillers. From 1999 to 2009, the number of deaths from narcotic pain pills nearly quadrupled to 15,597, more than those from heroin and cocaine combined, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In response, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has beefed up its efforts to block the diversion of prescription drugs to the black market, using many of the techniques it employs to combat illegal drug use: wire taps, undercover operations and informan To match Feature DEA-PRESCRIPTION-DRUGS/ REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files