Colorado Pharmacy Robbed for Vicodin

In Longmont, Colorado, an unarmed man successfully robbed a Walgreens pharmacy for the generic form of the painkiller Vicodin. Police said the suspect threatened the pharmacist and appeared very determined to get the drugs.

The man approached the pharmacy workers and demanded the pills, police said. When the worker told him he couldn’t have it without a prescription, he demanded to talk to the manager. The clerk then called 911 and set the phone down, leaving the line open. When the man again demanded the painkillers and said he didn’t want to hurt anyone, the clerk gave him two bottles filled with 1,000 pills.

“He did not brandish a weapon, but he made it very specific, saying, ‘I will hurt you if you don’t comply with my request,’” said Cmdr. Tim Lewis of the Longmont Police Department.

Police said the suspect apologized as he was leaving, saying he didn’t want to rob the place, but that there were people outside with guns who would kill him if he didn’t. He then ran off with the pills, which were valued at about $428.

"Painkillers like this have a lot of value on the street. You sell that pill for $5 to $15 on the street and it’s all profit," said Lewis. This was the first time a robbery of painkillers has been reported in Longmont, but authorities in other cities have seen a rash of pharmacy robberies lately.

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The Pain of Addiction

Vicodin addiction often starts innocently enough. Most people start taking Vicodin or other pain medications after surgery or an injury. But then they can’t stop. They need more to get the same pain relief. They start doctor shopping to get more pills. And the cycle continues until it takes over their lives.