America is in the grip of an opioid crisis and robberies at pharmacies may be fueling it, according to a recent report.
A report on Pharmacist.com stated police responded to more than 500 pharmacy robberies in Illinois and Indiana since 2012. In many cases, robbers are demanding opioids and medications to treat anxiety, according to evidence from security cameras.
Tighter controls have been put in place to curtail the robberies and limit the supply of drugs. In Illinois, for example, prescriptions for hydrocodone dropped by 350,000, as tighter controls were placed by the state on opioid analgesics.
However, the move has led the street value of the drug to rise because the drugs are in higher demand.
National Association of Boards of Pharmacy executive director Carmen Catizone warned one of the unintended consequences of the spike in robberies is some pharmacies may stop carrying these prescription drugs, restricting the access of patients to the drugs they need.
The Scale of the Opioid Crisis in Illinois
The opioid problem in Illinois is rapidly increasing in line with many other states.
Date from the Illinois Department of Public Health found there were 2,278 drug-related overdose deaths in 2016. This represented a 44.3 percent increase over the 1,579 drug-related overdose fatalities reported just three years earlier 2013.
Of the drug overdose deaths recorded in Illinois in 2016, over 80 percent (1,826) were opioid-related fatalities.
The Illinois Department of Public Health figures found opioid-related deaths in 2016 represent an increase of 70 percent in the number of deaths reported three years earlier.
The 1,826 opioid-related overdose deaths represented a 32.1 percent increase over the 1,382 opioid-related overdose fatalities reported by IDPH a year earlier in 2015.
A study by the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy at Roosevelt University found the Chicago area led the nation for emergency room visits related to heroin use, reported NBC.
If you are charged with armed robbery at a pharmacy, you are likely to be facing a long stretch in jail.
The Illinois criminal code defines the crime of armed robbery as a Class X felony. It carries a mandatory sentence of 6 to 30 years. If, during the commission of the offense, another person was seriously harmed, the court must add at least 25 years of imprisonment to the defendant’s sentence.
If you have been charged with a violent crime like robbery or a drug offense, you are likely to be facing serious consequences. Our Chicago criminal defense lawyers can help you. Call us today at (312) 229-0008.