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stolen meds

kyapupkkyapup Posts: 54
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:44 AM in Chronic Pain

I'm not new to this forum. I am usually on the back pain site. But this is a different type of a problem for me. I didn't know where to go with this issue.

I had a failed fusion l4-5,s-1 four yrs. ago. My left leg gets numb and long story short I fall alot. I have damaged my knees especially my right one just struggling to crawl into and out of my car. No, it's not a sports car, just a Toyota sedan. I just had surgery on my right knee a month ago.

My meds include fentanyl patch and norco 10/325 four x day. They were increased when I had the knee surgery, Well, today I found out that my significant other has been taking my pills to take herself and to sell. We have been together 20 yrs. and I am on disability. I can't make it alone, but I feel like throwing her out of the house. How can you steal pain meds from someone who really needs them?

I was wondering if anyone else has ever had this problem and what they did about it. I don't know what to do. Right now they are locked in my car and I have the key under my pillow when I sleep. I'd really like some advice short of calling the police. Then I am alot poorer and have no-one to help me. I think she has a drug problem.

Thank You,

Donna :(


  • Donna,

    From a law enforcement perspective (retired 3 weeks ago) it is a BIG can of worms if you go the law enforcement route, but given that you stated she is also selling them - you will have to make that choice - a very hard one!

    On a supportive member of the site side, I would sit her butt down, let her know firmly that you know what she is doing, and draw the line. "You get help, or you are out of here. I am in pain daily, you love me, and you take MY medication? What does that say about your caring for me after all these years?" Or something to that affect. She might not know if you will or can kick her out, but this puts her on notice. It also gives you time to see if there are community assistance options. In my years of dealing with addicts, she needs help, and you need to keep your meds totally out of her reach. Take care, and please keep us posted on how it goes. Sorry you are going through this. Support *HUGZ*

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • Brenda has it exactly right. You are living with an addict. Look up the definition and you will see it's true. Make a plan and carry it out.

    - Sit her down and get it all in the open. Secrets are horrible for everyone.
    - Get a lock box for your meds and keep the key on you at all times.
    - Tell her you count and keep track of those meds and if even one is missing you will know
    - Depending on what she says make a plan to get her help. Or start making plans to get out if she trys to deny it.
    - Get yourself into Al-anon. You don't seem surprised that she is abusing narcotics - only that she is taking them from you. Means that you knew. Al-anon can help you understand how you are allowing or even helping her do this.

    It's so upseting when those we love and depend on betray us. Be open and honest but firm. This is not taking $20 from your wallet. If you run out of meds you won't get more and you will suffer physcially. If she gets caught using or selling your meds you can get pulled into a legal mess. Try proving you didn't know.

    I wish you strength as you face this. Remember we are here for you.
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  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    To steal medications from a loved one who really needs it, only to sell it on the outside for profit!

    I can not give any better advice then what Brenda and Kris provided.

    Having to keep your medications hidden and locked up, in your own home is so sad.

    But then again, I have read stories about what addicts are capable of doing, to anyone. They really do not have any conscious.

    I am sorry to hear about your troubles
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
  • Ron it's not just adults we need to worry about. Kids are huge users and abusers of prescription drugs. When pills can be sold in the hallways at school for $5 each it's a huge temptation for a teenager.

    And remember it's not just the ones who live in the house you need to watch. Visitors are just as bad. Meds should not be kept in the bathroom because anyone who visits can end up in there with the door locked.

    Years ago my parents were selling their house. They had the usual supply of narcs that most people accumulate over time. As one nice couple toured the house they asked to use the bathroom. SInce they were upstairs they went into the master bath. Only later did my mother realize that at least one bottle was gone!

    We live in a very strange world. Keep your meds locked up. If you do this there will be no questions.
  • I had this thought wrt my housekeeper recently. She is a nice woman, I have no reason to suspect her other than that she is a recovering alcoholic (she told me this) and, well, that's a hard row to hoe.

    I've been thinking of getting a lockbox, especially now that I have schedule II meds.

    Now, to help you with your problem, or not help but offer a story. I have a friend whose SO of several years suddenly lost her job as a pharm tech as it turned out she was addicted to narcotics and had been stealing from work, so there was a lot of trouble. They split up for a while. It took that bit of tough love for her to get the help she needed, and they reunited and got married (they live in Mass) and although there hasn't been a happily ever after yet, they are still plugging along.

    I'd suggest that you not let this go. She needs help. If you let it go because you are afraid to let her go, she might not get the help she needs.
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  • It's so difficult when the person you love hurts you like that. I can't say that I've been in your shoes but I'm trying to think of what I would do. I think Brenda and Kris have the right idea she needs help!! If your stealing from your loved one to sell and or use you've got a problem. If she's not willing to get help you may want to consider kicking her out. You do not need the stress of having to look around your shoulder at all times. This isn't probably the first time it's happened. She has more than likely been stealing some her and there for awhile. Be careful that no one knows that you are storing them in your car because you might end up with the car getting taken. I know your on disability and it might be hard but there are small lock boxes that you can purchase that would work good.

    Are you going to be out of meds too soon? You might want to consider a police report if it would help you get your prescriptions back.

    So sorry your going through this. Someone else recently posted that her husband had taken her meds. Unfortunately it happens.....

    HappyHBmom- I have a teen at home and I love the security of having a lock box for that kind of stuff. We got ours for a decent price at Lowe's I've also seen them at Costco. They also work good for documents like Will's and home owner policy, so two birds with one stone so to speak.
  • Kris,

    Haven't you seen the numerous 'gags' played on guests? The medicine cabinet is filled with peanuts, bb's etc. The nosy "guest" goes to the bathroom, opens up your medicine cabinet and whoosh! Maybe the gag wasn't just to stop nosy noses, but a hint at how unsafe our own bathrooms are!

    PCTF C4 - T2, Laminectomies C5, C6 & C7. Severe Palsy left arm/hand.
  • I had a small lockbox I kept mine in, my husband broke it open one night and took some. Supposedly for pain - whatever..
    I now have a safe in my closet that I keep them in so nobody can break into it! It is ridiculous, but people do it. I'm in the same boat, can't make it financially without him and would have to pay him too much equity to get rid of him. It sucks.
  • I am so sorry this has happened to you. I can only imagine the betrayl that you feel.

    It has happened to me twice during the past 5 years. Once two summers ago we had friends, neighbors, friends of friends over for a bbq and swim. At some point during the night, a hand full of my pain meds were taken!

    Last summer I was in Austin for an annual Memorial day party and again a handfull was taken from my suitcase in the guest room. i was furious!

    So I now count them keeping a running tally of how many I have and the tally is kept in the bottle. I have a couple fabulous hiding places and when it is just us in the house I put them under my mattress while I am asleep.

    In Austin now my girlfriend helps me hide them in her house when there are alot of us there. I have a ton of friends there so when I come to visit they usually have a house full.

    Frequently, someone will ask (usually a male) what I am on for pain and joke about giving them one too! It really upsets me! I know they have no idea of the amount of pain we have and how so many times we have just layed withering in pain! It is not a joke!

    I wish you the best as you deal with this! Please keep in touch and let us know how you are doing!
  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
    Over the years, I have tried to come up with the best method for protecting my medications.

    About two years ago, I went with this method:

    1- All non-narcotic medications are put into a pill container that provides for AM and PM dosages for a week.

    2- All narcotic medications and some others (ie Soma, Neurontin) go into small colored pill screw type containers. I keep no more than one weeks supply in the containers.

    The rest of the medications go into my safe.

    I also have a spread sheet for each of my pills, so that I can check weekly to verify the remaining amount equals what the start point was and how the recommended dosages were taken.

    I have been fortunate enough never to have any of my medications stolen or lost.
    Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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