In recent months, law enforcement officials in Norton and Mansfield, Massachusetts, have noticed a rise in house and car break-ins, reports the Norton Mirror, a local newspaper. According to the source, police in these communities attribute consider these drug-related crimes – specifically Percocet.
Percocet is a prescription painkiller that contains a combination of acetaminophen and oxycodone – an opioid-based pain reliever. Mansfield police detective Michael Ellsworth told the source that many local teens started taking the drug because they think, because it is prescribed by a doctor, it must be safe.
Norton Police Chief Bryan Clark added that most Percocet abusers begin taking the drug to treat pain, but it can quickly spiral into addiction.
"This is a highly addictive drug that people are often prescribed for legitimate health issues and they become addicted to or the drugs are stolen and used by other addicts," Clark told the publication. "Prescription drug addiction also leads to heroin use and addiction because the cost is much less than prescription drugs."
Percocet is expensive, with a street value of more than $35 a pill. While many addicts turn to cheaper alternatives like heroin to feed their habit, others begin to engage in petty theft. The Mansfield and Norton law enforcement officials agreed that when they have investigated a car or a house break-in, the perpetrator almost always turns out to be a prescription drug abuser.