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Robberies on the rise at pharmacies as drug addicts pull weapons to get their fix

Thursday, June 16, 2011 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: pharmacy, robberies, health news

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(NaturalNews) Forget robbing banks. Whether it is to satisfy their own addiction or to make big bucks on the black market, drug addicts and criminals alike are increasingly targeting local pharmacies for prescription painkillers like OxyContin which have become the new drugs of choice for many addicts who now prefer them over street drugs like heroin and cocaine. And since a 60-pill bottle of OxyContin is worth as much as $5,000 on the black market, some thieves who would otherwise try to rob banks or jewelry stores are now targeting their local pharmacies.

According to a recent report from CNN, pharmacy robberies have increased significantly in recent years, particularly due to the fact that a prescription drug heist can be pulled off with less effort than traditional robberies. Mostly devoid of significant security protocols, many pharmacies are literally open game for the thousands of patients who have become addicted to prescription painkillers -- and who are willing to do anything to get them -- as well as thieves simply looking to make some quick cash.

"The number of these crimes has just skyrocketed," said Mike Donahue, a Seattle, Wash.-based pharmacist, to CNN. Donahue has been robbed numerous times, including at gunpoint, which prompted him to recently install bullet-resistant glass on his store windows, and a security monitoring system inside his pharmacy. Donahue even carries around a Glock pistol that he says he has had to use as a threatening deterrent on several occasions.

Pharmaceutical crime is not limited to pharmacies either. According to reports from last fall, it is becoming increasingly more common for drug addicts to literally rob private homes in search of painkillers -- and in some cases, such robberies have resulted in the serious injury or death of the victims (http://www.naturalnews.com/029861_pharmas_cr...).

"There is the myth that pharmaceutical drugs are safer (than street drugs)," said Capt. Rich Conklin of the Stamford Police Department in New Jersey, to CNN. High-grade painkillers like OxyContin, as many NaturalNews readers already know, are highly addictive, and they are now responsible for more deaths than are cocaine and heroin combined (http://www.naturalnews.com/027794_narcotics_...).

Sources for this story include:

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