Drug Abusers Raiding Medicine Cabinets During Open Houses

By John Lavitt 04/08/14

A contingent of law enforcement officers, realtors, and drug counselors are teaming up to thwart a rash of medicine cabinet thefts plaguing open houses in Southern California.

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According to press reports, prescription drug abusers are preying on open houses and raiding medicine cabinets to feed their addictions all across Southern California.

In San Diego, law enforcement officials, local realtor associations, and drug rehabilitation experts have teamed up to launch a series of public service ads on local TV and radio stations. The campaign is designed to raise awareness about prescription drug abuse and the ways addicts obtain their drugs.

San Diego County District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis and San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore voiced strong support for the coalition. “The reports of people removing prescription medications from open houses made it apparent that real estate professionals can be the first line of defense in preventing thefts of these medications,” said Sheriff Gore.

San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis said prescription drug cases have risen nearly 85 percent over the past five years in San Diego County. Although the city is taking its first steps to combat the growing problem, drug thefts during open houses are occurring all across Southern California from Beverly Hills to Orange County.

A focus of the campaign is how prescription drug abusers search out open houses in order to rifle through the medicine cabinets of unsuspecting sellers. The Greater San Diego Association of Realtors plans to provide its 12,000 members plastic bags to collect the prescription drugs at homes in a pro-active attempt to prevent future thefts. But they face a daunting task, since there is no way to keep people out of open houses and addicts will always find ways to infiltrate such locations.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.