In an effort to combat the rising illicit use of prescription drugs, specifically OxyContin, New York City police will begin distributing “bait bottles” equipped with GPS trackers to pinpoint stash houses and crack down on pharmacy theft across the city.
After a string of violent crimes surrounding the sale of the popular prescription painkiller, including a 2011 incident in which an addict killed four to get his hands on the pills, New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has committed to the use of GPS tracking devices in OxyContin bottles. Kelly also hopes to work with leaders in nanotechnology to explore the possibility of individual tablets that can house GPS trackers. The future is now, apparently.
In recent years, prescription drug abuse, historically a suburban and rural problem, has begun to permeate the urban landscape, causing a rise in pharmacy robberies and violent altercations surrounding the sale of pills.
Pill bottle tracking is just one facet of Kelly’s “Operation Safety Cap,” a new approach to drug prevention that specifically looks to crack down on prescription drug abuse. The Operation also aims to create a database of 6,000 licensed pharmacists around New York City in hopes of offering security recommendations and opening a line of dialogue between law enforcement and legal drug outlets.
Kelly is expected to announce the GPS plan Tuesday at a California conference sponsored by former president Bill Clinton.