SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - Oxycodone and Hydrocodone are only two of many prescription painkillers that some will do anything to get.
The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office says they're seeing a steady increase each year in crimes related to prescription drug abuse. "Prescription drug abuse is a huge problem in Sullivan County and surrounding areas. What we've found is addicts will do just about anything to get what they want and if that involves robbing someone, they will do that," said Leslie Earhart, Public Information Officer with the Sullivan County Sheriff's Department.
Earhart says everyone should be careful to avoid putting themselves in a dangerous situation.
We're told you can start off by keeping your medication history private. "If you let everybody know what you're taking, then you've got a chance of getting your house broken into," said James Gobble.
Gobble tells News 5 after having a motorcycle accident he was put on medication, but he doesn't tell anyone what he's taking. "You don't go around bragging, 'I've got this drug and that drug.' There might be someone over there that wants that drug," said Gobble.
Earhart says leaving the medication out in the open can get you in trouble, even if it's in your home. "Keep your medications out of plain view. You want to keep them in a cabinet, possibly a locked cabinet. Don't just leave them lying around your home over where someone could look in your window and see you obviously have a number of prescription drugs," she says.
But your home isn't the only place that could be targeted. Earhart says carrying the prescriptions without being covered or leaving it in your car could also subject you to a robbery.
Earhart says keeping your medications out of the public eye, could keep you out of harm's way.
We also found out if you have leftover prescription pain medications that you aren't using, it's best to get rid of them. There are drug drop-off boxes at several local police departments. You can drop them off, no questions asked, all year round.
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