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In November 2011, an undercover informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation waits in a Town of Woodstock examination room. After a minimal exam that lasted one minute and 30 seconds,

according to an affidavit filed as part of a FBI complaint, Dr. Wayne Longmore hands the informant a prescription for 45 hydrocodone pills.

Last month, the FBI arrested Longmore, saying he ran a pill mill.

In June 2011, prescription drug abuse made headlines as a gunman looking for pills burst into a pharmacy on Long Island and shot to death the four people inside. The problem has been growing for years. Erin Mulvey, a spokeswoman for the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, said prescription painkillers have become one of the top three drugs of abuse for teenagers nationwide. While it isn't the biggest drug problem in this area ' local law enforcement says heroin, marijuana and cocaine are still bigger ' pill abuse is growing, crossing age and ethnic boundaries.

"I would say it gets worse every year," said Middletown police Lt. Greg Metakes.

March brought a series of pill busts. Town of Woodbury police announced the arrests of two dozen people in a drug sting that netted not just cocaine and heroin, but also Roxicodone, Opana, Percocet and Suboxone. The state attorney general spearheaded a takedown of a massive gang-controlled drug ring that officials say supplied cocaine, heroin, hydrocodone and oxycodone up and down the Hudson Valley, including Orange and Ulster counties.