Four men were arrested after robbing a Rite Aid in Detroit, Michigan. The robbers took off with money and OxyContin, and were surprised when police officers showed up to arrest them shortly afterwards.
Pharmaceutical companies have started placing GPS tracking devices on drugs like OxyContin, and other highly-addictive and highly-desired prescription painkillers, so that theft is no longer possible. As Sergeant Mike Woody of the Detroit Police Department put it, “The larger pharmaceutical companies are going to this type of security system so it makes it a little more difficult for the average robber to just get away with whatever now.”
A person needs pain management after surgery or an accident, so OxyContin is prescribed and taken appropriately. After a period of time, the person does not want to stop taking the painkillers, or wants to take more pills than necessary for the physical pain actually experienced.
The main ingredient in OxyContin is oxycodone, which is a synthetic opiate created to mimic the effects of other, semi-synthetic opiates like heroin, codeine, morphine, and methadone. Other synthetic opiates are the pharmaceutically manufactured prescription painkillers you know as Vicodin, Norco, Percocet, Opana, and Demerol.
Rates of prescription painkiller addiction have reached what the FDA and the DEA are calling epidemic levels. Identification of a problem is vital for anyone who is abusing pain pills. Addiction, to any drug, which includes alcohol, or to a behavior, is characterized by a loss of control over use, an obsession with use, continued use despite adverse life consequences, denial of a problem, and a powerful tendency to relapse after attempting abstinence.
The specific symptoms of opiate addiction are:
- Drowsiness, sometimes to the point of nodding off
- Nausea and vomiting
- Low blood pressure
- Respiratory suppression
- Dry mouth
- Dilated pupils
Perpetuating the Spread of Opiate Addiction
Doctors and other medical professionals prescribe and recommend various medications based on the assessment of need for each patient they see. The risk of a drug’s abuse is always possible, but is even more likely when prescription drugs get into the wrong hands. Robbing a pharmacy of its OxyContin supply puts a large amount of a highly-addictive drug onto the streets, available for new users and for people who are already physically dependent, or addicted, to OxyContin. Overdose is a reasonable concern for opiate addicts, so the more easily accessible OxyContin, and other painkillers, become, the more likely further levels of addiction and more overdose deaths become.
The men involved in this particular robbery are possibly responsible for a series of other pharmacy robberies in the greater Detroit area that did not involve GPS trackable OxyContin. Pharmacy robberies have become so common that the GPS devices that help law enforcement officials make appropriate arrests may turn into a deterrent for further criminals. As word spreads, and examples are made of these robbers, future plans for stealing OxyContin will not be carried out for fear of instant arrest.
Treatment for OxyContin Addiction
People who find themselves in the throes of an opiate addiction are not able to stop using on their own. Outside help is needed because, even when someone is ready to stop, the power of a drug like OxyContin will convince the person to use again.
When an opiate has reached a level of physical dependence, stopping the use creates painful withdrawal symptoms that also lead users, who attempt to quit, right back to their opiate of choice.
If you know someone who is abusing an opiate, your actions can help save his or her life. By contacting the treatment team at Balboa Horizons, you are taking a step in the right direction. You can find out more information and learn the best way to approach your loved one. 866-316-4012.