Rise in Prescription Drug Robberies


Recent news reports at the local, state and national levels are shining a light on the unfortunate increase in pharmacy robberies. These attacks are taking place during regular business hours and are risking the safety of the pharmacist, their assistants, other staff and customers. In fact, these robberies are a danger to us all.

The abuse of prescription drugs means that either someone improperly uses a prescribed drug or someone takes a prescription drug prescribed for someone else. In both situations, it is dangerous and illegal.  Unfortunately this is happening with more and more frequency and by younger people. Two in five teenagers believe that prescription drugs are “much safer” than illegal drugs because they have been prescribed by a doctor. And, individuals aged 45 to 54 have the highest unintentional prescription drug overdose death rate.

These numbers must be reduced so that the demand for these medications is reduced and there will be no need for people to rob a pharmacy in a brazen attempt to get them. Prevention is always the key and to effectively prevent anything it will take all of us. Our community has to protect itself by educating ourselves about these issues and then working to prevent them.

Project Lazarus is one initiative CCSAP is implementing to reduce the number of prescriptions written and to get unwanted, unused and expired medications off the streets by providing people with a permanent drop box for disposal.  Also, it is best practice to lock up all medications in your home and share your actions with your friends and family. This will make it more difficult for anyone to access your medications and allow you to do your part for your community.

CCSAP is a coalition of five Eastern NC counties – Carteret, Craven, Jones, Onslow and Pamlico.  We are working toward promoting responsible drinking for those of legal age to drink, reducing underage drinking and reducing the illegal use of prescription drugs.Project Lazarus is part of this third initiative, focusing on the reduction of prescription drug abuses and misuses and through involvement in local drug take-back events. If you are interested in learning more, contact Tanya Roberts at (252) 665-3424 or by email at tanyaproberts@gmail.com.

Submitted by: Tanya Roberts for the Coastal Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention