America is in pain. And, this world of hurt is fueling an epidemic of pharmacy robberies across the country. Addicts and a new breed of drug dealer are resorting to extreme violence to keep their supply of prescription painkillers flowing.
Just last week in Long Island New York, a depraved addict who was once an Army private and intelligence analyst gunned down a pharmacist, two customers, and store clerk before making a getaway with a stash of hydrocodone pills. There was no warning before the man opened fire.
Most pharmacy robbers are white males and their overwhelming drugs of choice are oxycodone painkillers like Oxycontin and Roxicodone or hydrocodone painkillers like Vicodin and Norco.
Pharmacy robberies are up 81% since 2006 with the number of pills stolen going from 700,000 to 1.3 million during the same time period.
Unlike street drug deals which typically occur in impoverished neighborhoods, pharmacy robberies are happening in middle income and even upscale suburban communities. All pharmacies appear to be fair game in this widespread epidemic.
Shockingly, prescription painkillers are now the #2 most abused drug in America after marijuana. Over 7 million Americans used them illegally them within the last month alone.
The problem has become so widespread that the National Community Pharmacists’ Association, representing over 20,000 independent chemists is encouraging the use of “height signs” in order to assist pharmacy employees to note the height of robbers as they bolt from the store after a successful heist.
Bullet proof glass is being considered by some pharmacies similar to those used by banks, though some in the industry worry that this will further delay the wait for legitimate customers and place a barrier between pharmacist and customer thereby reducing the opportunity to ask and get questions answered.
Prescription Grab is Not Just at the Pharmacy
This new epidemic of hold ups at the local pharmacy is not the only place the illegal grab for painkillers is taking place. It’s happening at, believe it or not, the ER at hospitals across the country too!
A friend my husband and I recently ran into whose son and daughter-in-law are both ER physicians told us that 70% of the time ER doctors are spending with patients is dealing with fraudulent illness whose main purpose is to get the ER doc to write a prescription for painkillers.
Do you get the picture?
“Doc, my back is killing me, I can’t move – I need some of that Oxycontin stuff!”
ER doctors, in my opinion, are some of the best in the business and deserve our respect and admiration for the amazing critical care work they do. These doctors display modern medicine at its finest. They certainly do not need to have their time wasted by addicts coming in to see them who fake illnesses with the sole purpose of scoring a painkiller prescription!
There are plenty of legitimate people for these doctors to help in the ER. Lines are long enough in the ER as it is without addicts adding to the mix.
Considering the sorry state of the majority of people’s diets and how pain is a symptom of nutritional deficiency and inflammation resulting from poor food choices – just a wild guess, but something tells me this whole painkiller addiction problem is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
Source: Pharmacy Robberies Sweeping US
Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.
I don’t understand, really, why it is anyone’s business what an individual wishes to take. This is America, after all. Narcotic pain medications are not significantly (with a few exceptions for certain synthetic drugs such as Demerol, Darvocet, and Tramadol, the former two of which have been severely restricted on the US market, thankfully…) neuro- or organotoxic, and if they were, they would still likely be less detrimental to the average user than alcohol.
It seems to me that most of the harms that come from these drugs are related to what happens when an individual’s access to them is restricted, rather than from the drugs themselves, as seems to be the case with certain substances. I work, I pay taxes, and I really don’t care if my neighbor happens to enjoy taking drugs. I also feel that, in fact, if she is in pain and needs a drug that some people happen to like taking in order to function, then I don’t think that she should be denied a comfortable life, just in case she might be enjoying it. It isn’t right for us to force our agendas on others, and good diet and enough exercise just isn’t enough for people in severe pain. If the government and FDA were to afford addicts access to cheap, legal, clean drugs of known purity, we also would not have to be so afraid of them robbing us in order to afford them. I simply cannot understand what it is that has made so many people so prejudiced and hateful towards individuals who wish to use drugs, especially given that most using these particular drugs got started because of legitimate pain. Live and let live. Let’s do what we can to make our communities safer for those who are not intentionally harming their bodies, and leave those who are alone for the sake of keeping our streets safe-ish and our tax payments lower.
Why are more people not seeing this upsurge in drug abuse (I frankly don’t think that it’s really that much of an upsurge, just that Americans don’t really care about minorities, and this particular drug usage trend happens to be visible in the suburbs.) and calling for a more sensible public policy? Must we find ourselves offended, should our neighbor enjoy ANYTHING we feel is wrong, or dirty, or offensive – even if said act harms none but himself? We’re adults, it’s time we act like it, and stop voting for those who’d wish to play the bully shoving dirt clods in the faces of the nerds who’d rather read than play football – because what they like is different than what we like and thus scary and offensive.
When I read this post, I couldn’t help but think of Dr. Campbell McBride’s comment in her book about how many kids with gut disbyosis grow up to have addictions to drugs and or alcohol. The constant ingestions of drugs, just makes this worse. it’s a vicious cycle.
This post is so sad. I had surgery on my toe a few years ago, and part of the bone was removed. I was in serious pain! I was prescribed Vicodin, and was so thankful to have it the first few days. I knew the risk of addiction though, and after about 4 days (before the bottle was empty) I switched to Ibuprofen for a few days, then stopped taking anything. I found the partial bottle of Vicodin in my medicine cabinet a few years later and finally threw it away.
My husband is the same way. He had surgery for a hernia last fall, and was prescribed hydrocodone. There is still a half bottle in the medicine cabinet that needs to be tossed.
Despite a few health issues in the past, we are both prescription free and plan to stay that way! I agree with a previous comment: real food nutrition and healing is the only way to go.
I was on long-term pain relief therapy after multiple, bungled knee surgeries in the 1970s. I went several times a year to a pain clinic where my pain levels were monitored, extensive counseling took place and alternative therapies were tried. In the twelve months before embarking on a real food diet, I wore a TENS machine, applied novocaine transdermal patches, took three prescriptions (including Vicodin), practiced biofeedback, had acupuncture, walked with a cane bent over like an old woman and was daily in so much pain I rarely left the house. Within a year of taking fermented cod liver oil, drinking raw milk, eating fermented foods daily and cutting back on grains, I set aside my cane and was able to cut back on all my other pain control therapies drastically.
Two years later, I’m walking for exercise (something the doctors said I’d never be able to do), gardening, swimming, have permanently “misplaced” my cane and have let the Vicodin prescription lapse. Food made the difference for me when medical science failed me. I only wish I’d known thirty years ago.
Peggy, it’s always better late than never. Congratulations on reclaiming your life and the health you deserve! It takes some out of the box thinking to do what you’ve done which is not always easy to accomplish. Well done!
My mom is currently taking vicoden for the pain she experienced after having two teeth pulled (they were in terrible shape). She’s not the addictive type, but you article once again shows the importance of trying to stay away from Big Pharma and conventional medicine and instead relying on natural remedies and real food. After two days my mom noticed the vicoden wasn’t working anymore so I made her a cup of tea of chamomile and dandelion root. She said it helped a little.
My dad has a legitimate back injury that causes him chronic, excruciating pain. His insurance company won’t pay for his pain killers (which he hates taking, but must in order to function) unless he goes twice a year for what basically amounts to torture. They jab his damaged nerves with needles to prove that he isn’t faking his pain. It is awful, and it is absolutely the fault of prescription pain med addicts.