2012 has seen a huge increase in pharmacy robberies which is not a complete surprise considering that the prescription drug addiction epidemic is growing too. Oxycodone is a hot commodity for the pharmacy thieves because there is such a high street value for them. Each milligram is worth about a dollar on the street. One state that this is really hitting hard in is Maine. In 2011 there were 24 pharmacy robberies but there have already been 37 in 2012.
These robberies are fueled by addiction. In early addiction people can usually get their hands on prescriptions for these drugs but as time passes it is not so easy anymore. Plus, by then addicts need more and more of the drug. The mind starts to wander and many can only think of a pharmacy, which is like a candy store for kids. If desperation and withdrawal set in most addicts will do whatever it takes to score their drugs.
Some States Do What They Can to Fight Addiction
Maine has put together a 17-member task force to address this problem. It has four main objectives, developing better drug disposal solutions, to give viable information to pharmacies so they can spot prescription drug misuse, develop public education platforms, and to keep track of the results. The task force will to collect feedback from law enforcement, the medical, dental and pharmacy communities, state and local agencies, and education providers.
Plans include better definition video cameras, in-pharmacy cameras and more cameras located outside stores to capture video of escape vehicles. Robbery training videos will be used for pharmacy employees. Efforts to identify addicts before they become too desperate are also included in the planning. Pharmacy workers are also trained to hand over whatever the robber asks for just to get him out of the store and secure the safety of the workers.
Everyone Is Affected by Addiction
After all, it is the pharmacy workers that are on the front lines of this epidemic. When addicts get access to these powerful pain medications and they get out on the streets they are spilling a lot of danger. This type of danger affects everyone.