According to a recent article 6/2/11 in the New York Times, the high incidence of pharmacy robberies is causing some pharmacy owners to take extreme measures in an attempt to remedy and reduce high levels of pharmacy robbery. It is said that in some cities, such as Tulsa, Oklahoma there are now more pharmacy robberies than there are bank robberies.
Several years ago, pharmacy robberies were uncommon. The primary reason why pharmacies are now attracting armed robbers is that they have on the premises large quantities of the prescription narcotic. The most frequently stolen oxycodone product, the target of the robberies, is , a prescription painkiller manufactured by Perdue Pharma.
Measures Taken by Pharmacists
One measure taken by pharmacists in an attempt to protect themselves against involvement in a robbery is simply not to stock and supply the product OxyContin. In several cities throughout Canada and the USA, pharmacists now display signage advising people that they do not sell OxyContin. Other extreme preventative and protective measures include attaching a tracking device to oxycodone products. Some pharmacies now have security doors to limit public access to their premises, and many have bulletproof glass installed at check out points.
The motivation of people who rob pharmacies of OxyContin and similar oxycodone products can be their own addiction to the drug, but most of the oxy stolen from pharmacies is destined to be resold in a lucrative black market for the supply and sale of oxy products to addicts. Resale value of these prescription drugs has been around a thousand dollars per kilo. A keen and active demand for oxycodone products gives a return of around $80.00 for a single 80mg OxyContin capsule. High returns and a high demand for oxycodone products fuels pharmacy robberies.
It is commonly understood that it is the stocking of the opioid OxyContin that makes pharmacies vulnerable to theft. There have been reported cases of “inside” jobs by which pharmacy staff have been implicated in prescription fraud, sometimes making many thousands of dollars before suspicions are aroused and investigations made.
Measures Taken by the Pill’s Manufacturers
As the manufacturer of OxyContin, the main target of pharmacy theft, Perdue Pharma is now taking a pro- active approach towards protecting pharmacies from drug robbery and theft.
Strategies financed and supported by Perdue Pharma include robbery awareness and information for pharmacy employees. Advice and support is provided for those who have actually been the victims of a robbery, and instruction is given about what to do if present when a robbery takes place. Pharmacists are given training in how to spot prescription fraud and in robbery prevention techniques. The manufacturer even offers training courses to police officers about what they need to know in order to more fully investigate oxy related crime.
Perdue Pharma is merely protecting its market position when encouraging pharmacies to continue to stock oxycodone products, helping with security still leaves pharmacy staff at risk.
Extreme Response from Pharmacist
Sadly, one pharmacist from Oklahoma, where pharmacy robbery is rife, is now facing first degree murder charges after shooting a would be pharmacy robber (aged 16) several times after he was already unconscious from a bullet wound in the head. It is easy to be judgmental, to say that this pharmacist went far beyond what was needed for self protection. However, the climate of fear and tension generated by widespread pharmacy robbery leads to extreme emotions and tends to promote extreme responses when a robbery takes place.
Pharmacy Robbery is only a symptom of a bigger problem
Pharmacy robbery is only a coalface symptom of underlying problems in our communities that will not be addressed while we continue to see drug use and related robbery as “the problem”, and continue to focus our attention on stopping the symptom without addressing root causes.
Narconon can help addicts and communities to address the wider issues involved when addicts with an addiction to drugs turn to robbery and crime in order to support their habit. In all communities where drug use is rife, there are high levels of crime such as robbery, theft and prostitution, by which addicts support and maintain the expense of their addiction.
Drug addiction in our communities carries a high cost, not only for the end users, but for everyone involved in the cycle of addiction and related illegal activity. Drug supply is a cash cow, for both licensed and illicit suppliers. Pharmacy robberies represent the cutting edge of a drug-fueled world in which addicts are prepared to resort to violent means to get supply of addictive prescription drugs. Others see theft and robbery of narcotic prescription drugs as an easy way to make money in the lucrative prescription drug market. Pharmacy employees have been shot and killed in the course of pharmacy robberies. Pharmacy robbers have threatened pharmacy staff with cordless power drills and machetes.
The reason for pharmacy robberies is abundantly clear – people want to get drugs. However, the recent spike in pharmacy robberies has a specific cause in that pharmacy robbers are primarily seeking oxycodone products.
The current rate of pharmacy robberies confronts society with a question. With many non-narcotic, therapeutic options for the treatment of chronic pain, and drug-free therapeutic addiction recovery programs readily available: why do we allow OxyContin prescription drug use and abuse to dominate, control and threaten people’s lives?
As noted Calgary psychiatrist Dr Ronald Lim has said – ultimately, prescription drug use and abuse is an individual responsibility, for both patients and doctors, and for all prescription drug users.
Narconon Offers a Solution to the Real Problem
Pharmacy robbery, and other criminal activity is fueled by the demand for drugs from drug addicts. An ever-increasing demand for more drugs in our communities means that we can only expect an escalation of drug related crime as addicts strive to support their addiction.
Narconon offers a nontraditional approach to the problem of, and sees the answer to all drug use and related problems in strengthening peoples resolve to live a drug-free life. Since 1966, the Narconon rehab centers provide comprehensive methods that enable people to achieve complete addiction recovery.
People with an addiction to OxyContin who choose to become drug-free, using the non-traditional methods for complete addiction recovery offered by Narconon, not only achieve a more happy and contented life for themselves – they are helping to reduce the demand for drugs, and the incidence of pharmacy robberies.
For more information about the internationally renowned addiction treatment at Narconon, please call 1-877-782-7409 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-877-782-7409 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.