In Missouri, uptick in criminal activity linked to prescription drugs

On Saturday, a white male between the ages of 25-40 stole 19 prescriptions from Kilgore's Pharmacy in Columbia, Mo., according to ABC 17 News.

While police cannot confirm whether the robbery was directly linked to opioid abuse, law enforcement officials have noticed an increase in criminal activity related to prescription drugs in recent years.

"We are seeing much more criminal activity related to abuse and illegal transfers of prescription medication," said Detective Tom O'Sullivan of the Boone County Sheriff's Department. "I would say this dilemma has surfaced and enhanced itself probably in the last five to eight years." 

Between 2005 and 2014, hospitalizations for opioid overuse in Missouri increased by 137 percent, according to a report from the Missouri Hospital Association.

Missouri is also the only state in the country that does not have a prescription drug monitoring program to help identify drug abuse patterns among patients.

At this time, the Columbia Police Department says there are no updates to the robbery investigation.

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