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Pharmacies in San Diego County report surge in armed robberies

Published On: 11-08-2017 in Category: drug addiction

Pharmacies in San Diego County report surge in armed robberies

In recent months, pharmacies across San Diego County have seen a significant surge in armed robberies and nighttime burglaries. According to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) officials, many compulsive-opioid seekers simply sneak into pharmacies and rob prescription drugs at gun point with the sole purpose of feeding their addiction or selling the medications for a profit.

“There have been several instances of what we call counter jumpers, where robbers loiter around the pharmacy, seeking the right moments for the pharmacists to turn their backs, only to jump into the counter, grab the opioids and scoot off,” said Amy Roderick, a special agent with the DEA in San Diego.

Speaking about the kinds of medicines that seem to be the choice of robbers, Roderick said that they actively look for prescription drugs with opioids such as cough syrup, which can be sold in the illegal market. Medco Pharmacy in El Cajon was among the numerous pharmacies countywide that were targeted by robbers. The numbers of such incidents continue to soar. As many as 26 pharmacies have been robbed so far in 2017 as against 17 armed robberies of medical stores in 2016. Similarly, 23 nighttime break-ins have taken place in the county as compared with 14 burglaries in 2016.

In September 2017, a Walgreens store in the Chollas View neighborhood was robbed when miscreants fled with oxycodone pills and cough syrup. Besides, a CVS pharmacy at 315 Washington St was robbed for a second time in three weeks in October 2017, according to the San Diego Police Department.

US fighting worst opioid crisis in history

Opioid drugs prove to be effective only if taken as prescribed by a doctor for the purpose of alleviating pain. However, misuse or abuse may lead to addiction, causing people to languish in the throes of a prescription opioid epidemic nationwide. Studies show that in the United States, prescription opioids are among the most widely abused substances, which are succeeded by street drugs such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), opioid-related overdose deaths are on the rise in the country, killing more than six out of 10 Americans from all walks of life. Since 1999, the number of overdose deaths involving prescription opioids and heroin have quadrupled. When one misuses a prescription drug for a non-medical reason, the user not only runs the risk of being affected by physical and mental health impairments, but also addiction— as an aftermath of abuse. Unfortunately, due to the deceptive campaigns of big names in the American pharmaceutical industry in the U.S.— that consists of 5 percent of the world’s population—the nation contributes to 75 percent of prescription opioid use globally.

Battling menace of addiction

If you or your loved one is battling addiction to prescription drugs or any other substance, seek treatment immediately. The San Diego Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you get one of the best addiction treatment programs and embrace sobriety. You may call our 24/7 helpline number 619-567-2107 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.

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