Posted: Oct 9, 2013 3:34 PM by Joe Huisinga - MTN News
GREAT FALLS - Alicia Lowman of Great Falls has been charged with misdemeanor theft and felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs.
Lowman made her initial appearance in court on Monday for allegedly stealing prescription drugs from residents of the Rainbow Senior Living Center.
Court documents indicate a supervisor suspected Lowman took resident's medication and tampered with logs to make it appear the resident had received the medicine.
The executive director of the Rainbow, Anna Skinner, says the facility has safeguards in place which helped catch this particular problem quickly: "The system we have worked. The owner installed a state of the art camera system. Have we installed or implemented new things? Yes. Am I going to tell you what they are? No, because then it won't be effective."
The incident is just one example of a much bigger problem across Cascade County and all of Montana.
According to Chris Hickman of the Russell Country Drug Task Force, prescription drugs kill more Montanans than all other illicit drugs combined: "What a lot of people don't realize is by far prescription drugs are the number one drug problem in Montana."
Hickman says some of the most sought-after medications can be sold for huge profits, and causes some people to go to great lengths to illegally obtain the drugs.
He said, "Believe it or not, we have a lot of folks that will come visit friends or relatives...or go to their home under the guise of visiting, with really the intent to got into their bathrooms or bedrooms and check the medicine cabinets."
Hickman says that utilizing prescription drop boxes like the one at the Montana Highway Patrol office in Great Falls can put a big dent in the amount of prescription drugs on the streets of Great Falls.