October 11, 2019

Prescription Drug Take-back Information



Securing prescription drugs during open houses is a precaution all REALTORS® need to remind sellers to prioritize during the selling process since they will be inviting the general public into their home. In addition to drug abuse, there is big money to be made in the sale of certain prescription drugs, and open houses are among the easiest ways for individuals to acquire them.

Prescription Drug Sales

One reason thieves target open houses is because homeowners don’t consider their prescriptions to be items of discernible value. However, when you consider the street value of some prescription drugs can total into the thousands of dollars, it is no wonder why someone would want to steal them.

The ease of taking prescription drugs from an open house is the main reason homes are targeted. Consider the instance where an individual asks to use a bathroom during an open house. This affords an opportunity to lock the door and quickly search for prescription drugs. Once found, thieves can easily place dozens of pills into their pocket and return the empty container exactly as they found it. Usually no one will notice the pills are missing until the thief is long gone.

Take a Proactive Approach

REALTORS® need to recognize where risks reside when they are staging open houses. Before inviting prospective buyers into a home, REALTORS® and their cleints should:

  1. Secure medications in the same way that you would a wallet, checkbook, and credit cards.
  2. Place prescription drugs in a locked container, hide them in a location that it would take a significant amount of time to find.
  3. Remove all controlled substance prescriptions such as: pain medications, anti-anxiety drugs and all medications used for the treatment of ADD and/or ADHD.
In addition, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, in cooperation with local police departments and businesses, offers a list of drug take-back locations at www.ddap.pa.gov. If your client has prescription that needs to be discarded, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Program's website allows users to search for prescription drug take-back locations in each Pennsylvania county. Use either your zip code, or your county to help you find your local prescription drop-offs.

Should you catch someone in the act of stealing prescription medications or if a client reports them missing, contact the local police.

For more information on REALTOR® Safety, visit www.nar.realtor/safety.