Monthly Archives: July 2011

Inside the mind of a pharmacy robber

Pharmacy robberies have become a huge problem as the prescription drug epidemic has spread, often with tragic consequences. This article takes us inside the mind of one OxyContin addict who took to robbing pharmacies to get the drugs his body had come to crave.

Read our prior coverage of pharmacy robberies here, or for the perspective of one pharmacist’s wife, go here.

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The not-so-American dream

“OxyContin In Your Words” stories are unedited accounts of OxyContin and heroin addiction. Help us break through the shame of addiction and share your own story. Confidentiality, if requested, is assured.

I grew up in a small city, on a one-way street, with the same families who had lived on that block since my father moved into that house when he was ten years old. A big, green house with an American flag on the front porch, and a front yard with green grass, flowers, a bird bath, and a maple tree.

When I was little, I loved that house. I loved the history of it. The idea that my family had lived there since my great-great grandparents bought it. I loved the park that’s across the street and the bike path, or the “tracks” as we called it, that runs behind that park. I loved the smell of donuts in the morning from the donut factory that sits on the “tracks.” I loved my backyard, the shed that’s there that matches the green on my house and the rock box that my father built behind it. I loved the yellow roses that grew along the lattice next to my back door. I loved the smell of freshly cut grass in my backyard on Saturday mornings. I was only a child; this was what I saw.

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Suboxone use in Vermont at a crossroads

The use of suboxone to treat opiate addiction is controversial, to say the least. In Vermont – which ranks second in the country, behind only Maine, in per-capita admissions for treatment for addiction to prescription opiates – prison officials are seeing a huge spike in smuggled suboxone, according to this article. Suboxone is now being diverted by the very addicts it was formulated to help; the drug is being prescribed in record amounts around the state, and yet the state’s prescription opiate abuse problem shows no signs of slowing, the article says. (The number of Vermonters seeking treatment for opiate addiction in 2010 was up 21 percent from 2008 and up 300 percent from 2005, according to this related article.)

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For Fla. family, pill addiction epidemic takes its toll

“OxyContin In Your Words” stories are unedited accounts of OxyContin and heroin addiction. Help us break through the shame of addiction and share your own story. Confidentiality, if requested, is assured.

The prescription pill abuse here in Florida is out of control. It sickens me to think I have not one but two children addicted to these pills, I blame them, but I also blame the doctors providing them. Yesterday was my daughter’s 27th birthday, she spent it in jail where she has been for 2 weeks now, her charges are drug related, she ran out of her own pills and went to purchase some and was arrested.

July 20, 2011 will also now be remembered as a sad day…My son called me at 5pm he was frantic crying, I could barely make out what he was saying to me, I heard the word dead several times, it was my son’s best friend. A young man of only 30, a young man I had known since he was 11, DEAD OF A DRUG OVERDOSE…

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Oxy Activists: Matt Ganem

Matt Ganem is no stranger to opiate addiction. By the time he was 21, an addiction to heroin that started with OxyContin had all but destroyed his life. Miraculously, Ganem made it out alive, and at 26, he has now been clean for more than five years. Ganem has taken a creative approach to the horrors of opiate addiction through his hard-hitting poetry and writing, which can be viewed on YouTube and Facebook. His first book of poetry, “Carried By Wings Of Protection,” is due out this fall. Watchdog asked Ganem to fill in fans about his personal story, and share how Oxy and heroin changed his life forever.

Watchdog: How did opiate addiction happen to you?

Matt Ganem: I started taking Percocets in high school after I hurt my arm playing baseball. One day someone offered me something stronger. It was an OxyContin pill. He split it with me and we crushed it up and snorted it, and it was an unbelievable feeling to say the least. The ball started rolling right there.

W: How common was OxyContin abuse?

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The story behind Oxy Watchdog

Learn more about the story behind Oxy Watchdog by watching our new video. Please share with friends and family to get the word out about prescription drug addiction!

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Oxy maker launches new site to curb abuse

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, has launched a new website aimed at combatting the abuse of prescription drugs. The website,, is designed to help healthcare professionals, law enforcement, and local communities curb diversion and abuse of medications “while making sure these medicines remain available for appropriate medical use.”


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Listen: Watchdog on ‘Doctors Prescriptions, Deadly Addictions’

Jim McGilvary of Jupiter, Fla. hosts a weekly radio show called “Doctors Prescriptions, Deadly Addictions.” Oxy Watchdog founder Erin Marie Daly was recently a guest on the show, discussing how prescription drug addiction touched her family’s life. To listen, click here.

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New on Oxy Watchdog: Ask A Pharmacist

Check out our new section called Ask A Pharmacist, located under the OxyContin Resources tab. With the help of Larry Golbom, a pharmacist for over 30 years and host of Prescription Addiction Radio – Breaking the Silence, we are now able to answer questions on prescription drugs. Email questions to and Larry will post a response!

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Oxy-related deaths up 264% in Fla.

In Florida, where prescription drug addiction is rampant, 16,650 people died of pill-related overdoses between 2003 and 2009, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, the number of deaths in 2009 involving prescription drugs was four times the number involving illicit drugs, the CDC found. The greatest increase was observed in the death rate from oxycodone (264.6%), followed by alprazolam (233.8%) and methadone (79.2%).

Finally, the official statistics are catching up to the reality on the ground.

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