By Staff Writer
Prescription drug addiction is continuing to grow in prevalence and experts are saying that this is playing a role in a recent wave of crime that has swept the country.
The Associated Press reported that pharmacy robberies have taken place in Washington, New York, Florida and elsewhere in recent months, sometimes with deadly consequences.
For example, a thief in New York recently gunned down two pharmacy workers and two patrons as part of an attempt to steal prescription hydrocodone pills. He made off with thousands of pills, each of which could be worth up to $80 on the street.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency says that pharmacy robberies increased 80 percent between 2006 and 2010, the news source reported. Last year there were 686 instances of this type of crime.
The rapid growth in the abuse of prescription drugs may be playing a central role in the string of robberies. These medications are powerfully addictive, which creates a strong demand and gives criminals plenty of incentive to attempt daring crimes.
The Office of Drug Control Policy has estimated that there are now more new users of prescription painkillers than marijuana. Many of these people may end up needing addiction treatment.