Cashing in Gift Cards to Pay for Opioids Becoming More Common

gift card

Law enforcement officials report an increase in cases of people are stealing items from major retailers, returning them for gift cards, and cashing in the cards to pay for opioids, CNBC reports.

People steal items and return them to another store without a receipt, and receive a gift card in return. They sell the gift card to a pawn shop or secondary store at a discount. The cards are then resold to an online exchange.

In Knox County, Tennessee, police found 16 of 19 drug overdoses were linked to the sale of gift cards during a one-month period this year. In the city of Knoxville, police linked almost 100 overdoses to gift cards during a three-month period.

Heroin, Fentanyl & Other Opioids: From Understanding to Action

Heroin and other opioids are ravaging communities across America. Deaths from heroin increased 328% between 2010 and 2015, and drug deaths from fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are now seeing a sharp rise as well. More Americans die from drug overdoses than in car crashes, and this increasing trend is driven by Rx painkillers.

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    Dave Finch

    December 15, 2017 at 12:02 PM

    Why do you say the heroin and opioid overdose death rate is being driven by Rx painkillers? Of the more than 30,000 such deaths each year only about 5,000 are the result of doctor prescribed pain killers. Users who combine opiates with other drugs such as benzodiazapines are not likely receiving their drugs from doctors. What is driving the death rate is heroin adulterated with fentanyl, Mexican made fentanyl alone, and illicit pain pills. It is reckless to blame Rx pills offered by doctors to make the lives of their pain patients bearable.

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