WJTV News Channel 12 - SBI says theft of prescription drugs up 25 percent in recent yea

SBI says theft of prescription drugs up 25 percent in recent years

Posted: Updated:
NEW BERN, N.C. -

It's no secret burglars like to steal money, weapons, and electronics. But these days they're also interested in taking your prescription medications.

The North Carolina Department of Justice says theft of prescription drugs is up statewide.

"The SBI's Drug Diversion Unit estimates that such thefts [prescription drug thefts from homes and businesses] are up at least 25% here over the last few years," said public information officer Noelle Talley of the NCDOJ.

Lenoir County Sheriff Chris Hill says the growing problem of prescription drug abuse is likely producing this trend.

"Back then, 20 years ago, it was money, guns, and TVs. And now, one of the primary things being stolen is prescription drugs," said Hill.

Oftentimes the people who steal the drugs either use them to get a fix, or sell them on the black market.

"I can't tell you how much they're being sold for, but we know there are people who are doctor shopping and who are selling their medications," said Hill.

Pamlico County resident Christina Dykins takes eight pills a day for her high blood pressure and thyroid problems. She's not surprised about the trend, but she's concerned.

"I don't want someone violating my home," she said.

So here are some tips from law enforcement and pharmacists to keep your meds safe:
•    Avoid telling people what medicines you're taking and in what quantity.
•    Hide your medication in a place only trusted family members know.
•    Avoid obvious storage places like medicine cabinets.
•    Drop off unused medication in medicine drops.
•    Don't flush them down the toilet or throw them in the trash.

"Your safety is first and foremost, so if it's not there, then there's no opportunity," said Trey Paul, a pharmacy manager at Realo Discount Drugs in New Bern.

Paul says new laws might help.

"After the first of the year, we have to report a drug transaction every three days. It's going to help deter people from getting multiple prescriptions in multiple places," said Paul.

Hill says painkillers like percocet and oxycontin are prime targets for theft. He believes as long as there are people who abuse prescription drugs, there will be people who steal them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say about 12 million American teens and adults reported using prescription painkillers to get "high" or for other non-medical reasons.

  • HealthMore>>

  • Smoking rates on the rise in New York City

    Smoking rates on the rise in New York City

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:21 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:21:19 GMT
    For the first time in years, more than 1 million New Yorkers are smoking, according to data released Monday, marking a disturbing rise of tobacco use in the city that pioneered a number of anti-smoking initiatives...
    For the first time in years, more than 1 million New Yorkers are smoking, according to data released Monday, marking a disturbing rise of tobacco use in the city that pioneered a number of anti-smoking initiatives that...
  • APNewsBreak: NY bid to halt Alzheimer's drug swap

    APNewsBreak: NY bid to halt Alzheimer's drug swap

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:21 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:21:17 GMT
    New York's attorney general filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking to stop a manufacturer from discontinuing its drug widely used to treat Alzheimer's patients, arguing the company is illegally driving...
    New York's attorney general filed a federal lawsuit Monday seeking to stop a manufacturer from discontinuing its drug widely used to treat Alzheimer's patients, arguing the company is illegally driving patients to...
  • Obama to visit Atlanta health center to talk Ebola

    Obama to visit Atlanta health center to talk Ebola

    Monday, September 15 2014 7:11 PM EDT2014-09-15 23:11:08 GMT
    President Barack Obama will travel next week to Atlanta to address the Ebola crisis during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control.
    President Barack Obama will travel next week to Atlanta to address the Ebola crisis during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the White House said Friday.
Powered by WorldNow

1820 TV Road
Jackson, MS 39204

Telephone: 601.372.6311
Fax: 804.819.5569
Email: wjtvnews@wjtv.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.