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Public Safety Officials Warn Rise In Crime Could Follow New Pain Killer

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(credit: CBS3)

(credit: CBS3)

Brad Segall Brad Segall
Brad Segall is the award-winning Suburban Bureau chief at KYW...
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By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – A powerful new prescription painkiller is set to hit pharmacy shelves in the next couple of weeks and that has some law enforcement officials in the Philadelphia region very concerned.

The new drug is called Zohydro ER and law enforcement authorities across the country are asking the FDA to reconsider its approval of the drug. An FDA advisory committee recommended it not be approved citing its potential for abuse and overdose.

Bensalem Public Safety Director Fred Harran says there are enough painkillers on the market now. The new drug is a time-release form of hydrocodone, but he worries it will be abused by addicts.

“They’re going to crack that capsule open and ingest all that painkiller in a second,” Harran says. “Whether they’re going to snort it — they’re going to ingest it or they’re going to inject and they’re going to get a lot of painkiller — a schedule 2 drug — all in their system in seconds.”

He’s concerned the drug will lead to more home and pharmacy burglaries by people trying to get their hands on the drug.

Harran says they’re trying to win the war on drugs, but narcotics like this are no way to that.

“We’re going to see a spike in crime. We’re going to see a spike in burglaries, robberies and thefts across the nation. We’re going to see more heroin overdoses, more overdoses of this drug because it’s so potent, it’s so powerful.”

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