OxyContin Addicts Lay Siege to Pharmacies

When Seattle pharmacist Mike Donohue started his career two decades ago, he never dreamed that he would someday be packing a gun each day at work.  Nor did he imagine that pharmacies would require security cameras and bullet-proof glass to stop stray bullets from injuring passers by.  Unfortunately, a string of 6 recent robberies has forced Donohue to adopt a siege mentality.  Each of the armed robbers was seeking one thing – OxyContin.

Pharmacy robberies that target OxyContin are on the rise across the country and Washington State has been particularly hard hit.  Most of the thieves are addicted to the drug and some are drug dealers who can get up to $5,000 on the street for a single bottle of OxyContin.  Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, maintains an online database of pharmacy crimes that are related to the …

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Black Market OxyContin Worth Millions

 

Black Market OxyContin Worth Millions

Prescription drug abuse has created a growing black market demand for pain killers like OxyContin as well as for drugs used to treat depression and anxiety.  Using data from federal law enforcement agencies, CNN recently published a comparison of street versus legal prescription drug prices:

  • OxyContin: up to $80 on the street compared to $6 with a prescription.
  • Hydrocodone and/or Vicodin: up to $25 compared to $1.50.
  • Percocet: up to $15 compared to $6.

The high price of black market OxyContin and other illegal prescription drugs is driven by a growing demand.  Even after the release of OxyContin’s new formulation the drug is the primary target of opiate addicted abusers. The DEA reports that 7 million Americans abused prescription drugs in 2009, up 13% from 2008.  The agency expects there to …

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How the Internet Fuels Prescription Drug Abuse

In the past decade, anyone with an e-mail account has most likely received spam e-mail that advertises the sale of prescription drugs.  Millions of these e-mails are sent out each year from pharmacies that are typically located outside of the United States.  These rogue pharmacies are not under the jurisdiction of U.S. laws and freely dispense potentially dangerous drugs like Percocet and Oxycontin that normally require a doctor’s prescription.

A recently completed 7-year study conducted by the University of Southern California and Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has revealed a correlation between Internet access and prescription drug abuse.  States with the highest growth in high speed internet access also saw the greatest increase in treatment admissions for prescription drug abuse.

According to Dana Goldman, a public health expert at the University of Southern California, the findings suggest that widespread use of …

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Son of Democratic Chairman Dies of Overdose

The son of Tennessee Democratic Party chairman Chip Forrester was found dead in his Phi Gamma Delta house  last month. Wilson Forrester, 19, was a promising student at the University of Arizona in Tucson Arizona, which was ranked the fifth “hardest-partying” college in 2009 by Playboy.

On April 2, 2011 Forrester was having drinks at Fiji’s fraternity house when friends had to call paramedics after Forrester’s body collapsed. Forrester was pronounced dead at around 9 a.m. When Tucson news KGUN tried to talk to his Phi Gamma Delta, or Fiji, fraternity brothers they refused to comment. Only one comment was made “We’re getting over it and whatever you guys can find by yourselves, that’s pretty much it.”

On April 3, 2011 an autopsy was performed by Dr. Parks with the Pima County Medical Examiners office. Dr. Bruce’s report revealed that …

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Alarming Rise in Prescription Drug Overdoses

The U.S. is currently facing an epidemic of deaths caused by accidental drug overdoses.  According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 75 people die every day from drug overdoses.  More than 90% of all poisoning deaths are attributed to unintentional drug overdoses that occur during drug abuse and due to taking too much of a prescribed medication.

The number of deaths from drug overdoses more than doubled between 1999 and 2007, from about 12,000 to more than 28,000 per year.   In 2007, fatal drug overdoses were second only to motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the general population.  For those aged 35 to 54, they caused more deaths than car accidents.

Most of these deaths are caused by opioid pain medications (oxycodone, methadone and hydrocodone), followed by cocaine and …

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Glen Alexander Story Epilogue – The Video

Read Glen’s Story Part I -The Early Years

Read Glen’s Story Part II – The Accident and the Medication

Read Glen’s Story Part III – “When I Found Him”

The bravery of Glen’s Mother and her willingness to share her story with others in the hopes that she may help those who are suffering and in danger has allowed our website to bring a very moving tale of a special person – Glen Alexander.

Here is a video that will help you get to know Glen throughout the years of his life.  If you are concerned about someone who may be abusing prescription (or any) drugs, please seek help immediately.  If you are concerned about the welfare of someone who is under the influence of drugs dial 911 immediately.

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Glen Alexander – A Life Ended Too Soon Part III

Read Part I of Glen Alexander’s Story

Read Part II of Glen Alexander’s Story

“When I Found Him”

It was about 6:30 AM.  I was so glad Glen had stopped moaning and hoped he was feeling better.  I picked up his glass and mug that he had kicked over and brought them to the kitchen.  I went back in his room to check on him.  I noticed he had removed all his clothing and was now laying sideways, on his stomach, across his bed.  When I came in this time, I looked at his back and realized he was not breathing.  I stood there paralyzed thinking, Oh God please no, please no!  Please say it isn’t true.  I finally reached out and touch him and he was already cold and hard to the touch.  I flipped out and ran to …

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Glen Alexander – A Life Ended Too Soon Part II

Read Part I of the story here.

On October 25, 2008 Glen received a settlement from the insurance company.  He put $50,000 in the bank to use for a down payment on a house.  He could not buy a house until his Social Security Disability was approved.  He had to show some kind of income and was unable to work.

On August 3, 2009: Glen filled out a “Pain Questionnaire” for Social Security.  He states:  His pain is located in his right leg, ankle, and foot.  It feels like it is broken.  His leg hurts and makes him suddenly depressed.   It hurts 24/7.  The pain never goes away.  It last forever.  Rest relieves his pain overnight.  He smokes medical marijuana daily to help mostly with the anxiety.  He stops activities all the time because of pain.  He can no longer …

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Glen Alexander – A Life Ended Too Soon Part I

Glen Tyson Alexander

February 17, 1987 ~ July 2, 2010

Glen always said, He didn’t have a purpose in life.  He did.  He does.

Glen was born in Whittier, CA on February 17, 1987.  He was the youngest of six children (2 brothers and 3 sisters).   He wanted to be born feet first, but instead they did an emergency c-section.  He was the third one of my children to be diagnosed as extremely ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and was started on medication in second grade.  By eighth grade he didn’t want to take meds anymore.  He told me, “I know they make me behave better, but I don’t like the way they make me feel”.  He always dealt with anxiety and depression and was diagnosed bipolar as a young adult.

Whatever his problems were, they didn’t keep his family …

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New U.S. Drug Strategy Targets Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic

This week the National Drug Control Policy branch of the White House announced a new national drug policy that targets the current epidemic of prescription drug abuse.  It is the first time the federal government has announced a comprehensive strategy for dealing with the non-medical use of prescription painkillers.  According to Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh, “Abuse of prescription drugs, especially opioids, represents an alarming public health crisis.”

Drug czar Gil Kerlikowske unveiled the new plan, which aims to reduce the non-medical use of powerful opioid painkillers like oxycodone by 15 percent over the next 5 years.  Kerlikowske’s press release described the magnitude of the prescription drug problem as exceeding the black tar heroin and crack cocaine epidemics of the 1970s and 1980s.

The plan will focus on four main areas: education for physicians, prescription tracking, drug disposal and …

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