Opioid Overdoses Fuel Rise in Accidental Deaths
Opioid overdoses are fueling a sharp increase in accidental deaths in the United States, according to a new report by the National Safety Council.
The New York Police Department has announced it will put decoy pill bottles with tracking devices on pharmacy shelves, in an effort to track stolen painkillers. The fake bottles will appear to contain oxycodone, The New York Times reports.
The bottles will not actually contain painkillers, but will have a GPS device. “We would anticipate the burglar and robber will take numerous bottles, and among them will be the bait bottle,” said the department’s chief spokesman, Paul J. Browne.
The fake bottles rattle when they are shaken, as if they contained pills. They sit on a special base. When the bottle is lifted from the base, it starts to send out a tracking signal.
The department hopes to have the program in place by March, and is asking all of the city’s 1,800 pharmacies to participate.
Purdue Pharma, which makes OxyContin, developed the bottles. They are already being used in some pharmacies around the country. Around the nation, pharmacies have been robbed by armed criminals looking for narcotics, anti-anxiety drugs and other controlled medications. Some are addicted to the drugs themselves, while others sell the pills.