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David Mittleman
David Mittleman
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The Corner Pharmacy – Not So Safe Anymore

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One of several reasons I stopped working as a pharmacist not long after becoming licensed in Pennsylvania in 1980 was a fear of the growing number of pharmacy break-ins. The writing was on the wall that robberies would follow. Before 1980, the corner drugstore was a place to consult with your pharmacist, sometimes even before your doctor, and socialize with friends at the soda fountain. The soda fountains are gone and danger is on the rise.

An arrest has been made of the alleged gunman in the pharmacy shootings that claimed the lives of four people on Long Island over the weekend, including a 17 year old who was supposed to graduate this week. Other examples across the country have been reported. Why? Painkillers seem to be the gateway to heroin. CNN and the New York Times recently reported about the little green tablets people are dealing – prescription pills known on the street as “perc,” “30s,” and “Oxy.” In medicine, oxycodone is an opiod analgesic – a powerful painkiller – on the street it’s heroin in a pill, and it commands big bucks in the illicit drug trade.

Pill-mills” have cropped up all over – Florida has become the hotbed. Florida has lax laws in this area and the proliferation of pain clinics has made it hospitable to drug addicts and dealers looking to buy up lots of pills and turn them into profit. At $30 and up per pill, it doesn’t take long for a group of people doctor shopping to make it a million dollar problem.

Although I enjoyed being a pharmacist, I have no regrets leaving the profession to do what I enjoy now – representing injured people. I am profoundly saddened by what is happening in our society as the result of drug addiction.