Painkiller Epidemic Update: Ohio Has Twice As Many Pharmacy Robberies As Bank Robberies

There have been almost twice as many pharmacy robberies this year in Columbus as bank robberies.

The prescription painkiller OxyContin is the primary target in most pharmacy robberies.

As of last week Columbus, Ohio has racked up a record-smashing 56 pharmacy robberies this year, compared to “only” 29 bank robberies. So what’s going on here? Are prescription painkillers becoming more valuable than money itself? Short answer: Yes.

There are several reasons for this, the primary ones being desperation—and of course, profit. So many people are becoming addicted to opiod prescription painkillers, the worst among them OxyContin, that the illegal market for these pills is at a never-before-imagined high. The strongest available tablet of OxyContin, 80mg, has roughly doubled its “street value” from $40 to $80 in the last few years. That’s $80 for a single pill.

Another reason is availability. Unlike drug dealers robbing other drug dealers, when and if a dealer is “holding” can vary minute to minute, requiring extensive intelligence to successfully rob a dealer of his stash. Hitting a pharmacy on the other hand, especially the often-targeted national chains, a robber is virtually guaranteed a substantial supply of narcotics. Not to mention a much-lower level of resistance.

Salaried pharmacy employees are unlikely to voluntarily take a bullet to protect the inventory.


Article: Pharmacies increasingly the target of robbers

Image courtesy The Columbus Dispatch.


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6 Responses to “Painkiller Epidemic Update: Ohio Has Twice As Many Pharmacy Robberies As Bank Robberies”

  1. Seneca Says:

    I heard in a recent news article that pharmacists are being poorly paid and they have a heavy workload and that this is leading to a high error rate… I wonder what effect this will have on how many more pharmacy students we will have graduate in the near future… I guess it makes it easier for people to get dangerous medicines also.

  2. andrewbryan Says:

    Until opiate addicts are treated medically for their problem and all drugs are legalized than the drug war will continue to create problems such as this pharmacy robbery epidemic.

  3. swallowed Says:

    Exactly! As I’ve said before – numerous times: Treatment, and education ON treatment (mainly – convincing people it works), is the only solution. Otherwise these types of “crimes” will continue to escalate.

  4. thenonconformer Says:

    U.S. State Department says Canada the top source for ecstasy

    Fri Feb 27, 6:27 PM WASHINGTON – The U.S. State Department says Canada should do more to curb the production and trade in ecstasy and other illicit drugs.The 2009 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, released Friday, highlights the growth of methamphetamine “superlabs” throughout the country, particularly in British Columbia and Ontario. The report says Canada has become the No. 1 source of ecstasy south of the border.

    The report also quoted Canadian officials as saying Prime Minister Stephen Harper wanted to increase penalties for drug production and trafficking, but not for drug use. ( Typical Harper Hypocrisy, false partiality)

  5. Not Another Sequel! “Drugstore Cowboy” Author James Fogle Arrested for Pharmacy Robbery (Again). « S W A L L O W Says:

    […] Ohio Has Twice As Many Pharmacy Robberies As Bank Robberies […]

  6. crystal Says:

    There has been a lot of drug store robberies where I live in Southern Maine, and our drug stores have now immediatly banned persons from entering the store wareing hoods on there head, hats , or sun glasses, as soon as staff see’s a person enter with those items on, staff are instructed to immediatly call 911. the same rules have been put in place for the banks too. I was just curious if this was going on anywhere’s else and what law enforcement and pharmacies where doing to get this problem under control. they just started this bann so I don’t know if it has worked yet.

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