Pharmacy robberies a nasty side effect of nation's opioid crisis

Police have responded to more than 500 pharmacy robberies in Illinois and Indiana since 2012, according to DEA statistics. Security camera videos from the incidents show many robbers demanding opioids and anti-anxiety medications. In Illinois, prescriptions for hydrocodone dropped by 350,000, as tighter controls are being put on opioid analgesics.

Police have responded to more than 500 pharmacy robberies in Illinois and Indiana since 2012, according to DEA statistics. Security camera videos from the incidents show many robbers demanding opioids and anti-anxiety medications. In Illinois, prescriptions for hydrocodone dropped by 350,000, as tighter controls are being put on opioid analgesics. The resulting street value of the drugs increases because they are in higher demand. "If you can't get your painkiller anymore, you're either going to move to heroin or in some cases you're going to rob a pharmacy to get those drugs that's harder to get from your medical provider," said DEA Chicago Special Agent in Charge Dennis Wichern. National Association of Boards of Pharmacy executive director Carmen Catizone said one of the unintended consequences of these robberies is that some pharmacies may stop carrying some of these prescription drugs and patients will not have access to the medications they need.