As a fellow Realtor (now a referral agent), I know how hard you all work to bring excellence, integrity, professionalism and safety to your clients. Substance Abuse is a major concern today. As someone now in the prevention field and a mom who knows all about family struggles when a family member has a substance use disorder, I decided to write this post to raise awareness about Prescription Drugs.
This photo is one of me when I worked at Gloria Nilson Realtors in Spring lake N.J.
I've done numerous open houses over the years and I don't have to tell you that you can get quite a few characters coming through the doors.
Prescription Drug Abuse is at epidemic proportions. We ALL have to raise awareness and be part of the solution.
Because I know how hard you work! I wanted you to have all the TOOLS to have a successful outcome, The following is a partial presentation that I do for Realtors. I want you to have this FOR FREE! It's so important to raise awareness about Substance Use Disorder. I have also given this presentation to Coalitions in New Jersey to use for their campaigns!
Please use this information at your open houses, tell your clients!, discuss at a staff meeting or in any way at your agencies, OR…...call me and I will come and present it with so much more valuable information!
RX Presentation for REALTORS®
Parent’s in Connection for Kids Inc.’s goal for this presentation is to educate REALTORS® on the dangers of clients leaving prescription drug medications unattended during showings and open houses.
To sell their home, Sellers must open their home to the public. Although it doesn't happen all the time, it is a fact that theft does occur. Theft impacts the Seller in all cases and theft of prescription drugs has a larger impact on the community.
P.I.C.K. is highlighting this growing issue in the hope that REALTORS® can better communicate this potential threat to their clients. We have created educational resources that REALTORS® can use to educate themselves on the issue and then utilize with their client.
“Protect Your Meds” (Customizable Flyer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!) highlights this important issue and what steps a seller can take to prevent prescription drug theft while their house is on the market. As with all of our customizable flyers, you can add your picture, company logo and contact information to the flyer for you to print or email a copy to your seller clients.
You should talk to your clients during the listing interview. Just like you would tell them to put away their jewelry or any other valuables, you would advise putting away prescription medication.
Frequently Asked Questions – Drug Theft Prevention and the REALTORS® Role
- Why would someone steal prescription drugs? A person with a substance use disorder is likely to steal to feed a drug habit. This is survival for them! Others are looking to sell it on the streets. A single pill of some prescription medicines can bring upwards of $80.00, but most of the time it's because they want to avoid withdrawal.
- How does it happen? It can happen during any showing of the home. Thieves work in pairs and often bring their children! One distracts the agent while the other proceeds through the home unattended. Without supervision it’s a simple matter to raid the medicine cabinet, nightstand, on the counter by the toaster or other areas where prescriptions might be stored.
- Effect on the seller? The effect on the seller is multi-faceted. Beyond the feeling of having been violated, there is the issue of having to replace the prescription. In some cases the seller may be denied a refill right away depending on their prescription plan. This could set up dangerous health situations. Also, fear of a future robbery or break in.
- Community impact? Prescription drug abuse and heroin deaths have now exceeded deaths from automobile crashes. The use of prescription drugs by teens and pre-teens has grown. According to statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 14.8 percent of high-school seniors used a prescription drug nonmedical between 2011 and 2012.
- Every day, 40 Americans die from an overdose caused by prescription painkiller abuse, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overdoses of opioid prescription drugs now kill more people in the U.S. than heroin and cocaine combined.
Since its launch in 2011, New Jersey’s Project Medicine Drop program has collected more than 12,740 pounds of unwanted medicine and destroyed it safely through incineration. Drop Boxes are now located in all 21 counties in the state, including a college police department and two military installations. Drop Boxes accept solid pharmaceuticals such as pills, capsules, patches, inhalers, and pet medications. They cannot accept syringes or liquids.
- How do I advise the Seller, client to prevent prescription drug theft?
both physical and virtual tours of the home. Note that this is good advice outside of selling a home as well. Studies have shown
that most children who abuse prescription drugs get them right from their own or a relative’s home. And Hey! Don't forget pet
Medications! Ketamine is a cat tranquilizer and my dog Oreo was on Valium!
If interested, we are providing zippered pouches for REALTOR’s® to give their clients so they can easily take meds, personal belongings and jewelry with them when they leave for a showing. Email me for info!
Also, we are providing information on Monmouth and Ocean County Prescription Drug Disposal Locations.
Is there anything the REALTOR® can do?
There are many things a REALTOR® can do to deter this (and other) theft in the homes of their seller clients.
- Consider conducting open houses in pairs. My daughter Jamie Esposito (email@example.com) and I ALWAYS did them together. This gives the potential thieves much less opportunity to be alone anywhere in the house.
- When showing the upstairs, let the person walk ahead of you first.
- Always hold your phone and leave your keys hidden in the car in case you have to run!
- When showing a home, insist that all members of the party stay together.
- At any showing or open house ask for identification. Have them sign in and follow your agency's policy! A potential thief will be hesitant provide this.
- Do not allow anyone – including appraisers, inspectors and if the client insist you be there, other REALTORS® – access to a home alone or without proper identification. It’s too easy and becoming more common for potential thieves to impersonate these professionals.
- Advise the seller not to allow anyone in the home without communication from you (or your office) and to always ask for identification.
Are there any other issues to consider?
Yes. If you require ID from one, require ID from all. Protect yourself from claims of discrimination. Also, follow your office policies in signing CSI and all required paperwork during the open house.
What should I (or the Seller) do if a theft occurs?
Do not confront the person! Call the police. The local or state police personnel have the tools and resources to deal with this and any criminal activity.
What if I only suspect someone is ‘up to no good’? Trust your instincts!
Take your suspicions to the police. Even if all you are able to do is file a report that report and any subsequent report will he the police take appropriate action. Above all, don’t be a hero and confront the person. Be Smart and Stay safe!
What are Prescription drugs?
Prescription Drugs (Opioids) are synthetic drugs that produce opiate-like effects. So when comparing opiate vs. opioid, both substances provide pain-killing effects.
Some examples of opioid drugs are:
For additional resources please visit www.pickawareness.com
You can also contact me, Donna DeStefano at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-Service Trainings are available to individual offices and large groups.
Thank you and be SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!