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Meds Stolen, need advice please!

edited 06/11/2012 - 8:02 AM in Pain Medications
Hi everyone. I am currently being prescribed narcotics by my pcp while i find a pain management dr that I feel comfortable with. I have had 2 prescriptions written for me, each being an 8 day supply. I noticed the first time I filled my meds that after a day or so, my pills seemed to be going by pretty quickly- I blamed this on myself not paying enough attn to how much I was taking & became vigilant w counting them from then on. Yesterday I filled a refill for that script- counted them in the parking lot of the pharmacy, and kept track of what I was taking. This morning when I counted them, I was missing 10 pills- which is 1/3 of my prescription. After spending the day stressing out trying to figure out where they went- a family member (who is in recovery from addiction) confessed that they took pills from both times I had scripts filled. Aside from having them go back to meetings, etc- I am getting a safe to put all medications in.. My big question here is 1- has anyone had any experience with this? And 2- what do I do? Should I call my dr and tell her what has happened? Or is that going to open a can of worms that I don't want opened?

Please, any advice/insight/experience would be greatly appreciated. Because this person has had years clean at a time and now they have relapsed and agreed to go back to mtgs and start over- I'm not worried about that aspect. I'm here for advice as to what I should do regarding the fact that I'm out of 1/3 of my script, and I don't know whether to talk to my dr about it or not. Please keep in mind my dr is my new pcp and I haven't been under her care for very long, but I have been in constant contact w her office and nurses there, just trying to establish open communication and more of a dr/patient relationship.

Thanks guys.


  • j.howiejj.howie Brentwood, Ca., USAPosts: 1,732
    every excuse in the book for patients who abuse meds. So you can tell the Dr. what happened, but I don't think I would ask to have them replaced. I think your S.O.L. on that. And it may be a can of worms.
    The safe is a good idea.

    Click my name to see my Medical history
    You get what you get, not what you deserve......I stole that from Susan (rip)
    Today is yours to embrace........ for tomorrow, who knows what might be starring you in the face!
  • If it was me i would tell me dr. But then again my dr seeems cool and i been seeing him for a good while and i am prety sure he trusts me by now, He knows i dont even take all the meds if i dont need to,

    So depends how well you know your dr i would think and how well he knows you,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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  • I have to agree with Alex(first time for everything jk)
    My doc knows me also and I would be up front and honest.

    But since you haven't had this med long time and you stated you took to many??? for 8 day supply it sounds confusing.

    I think you are just s.o.l.
    all tho you said family member agreed go to meetings sorry family or not, don't keep your meds in house.

    good luck
    Honesty best way to go
    I would not ask doc for more meds just saying your telling him what happened.

    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • What I have to say, and I am truly sorry for that.

    If you were aware this person has a history of abuse, why oh why were your medications where they could find them? I am NOT at all saying it's your fault (you didn't make the choice to abuse again or put them in their hand) or anything like that, but if I were in your shoes my medication would have not only been on my person, but the person in recovery would have NEVER known I had them. It's too much of a temptation and I would do everything in my power to keep my meds a secret. (e.g. I know my mother's boyfriend loves narcotics so whenever they come over I lock every medication I'm concerned about in my Rifle/shotgun safe where the ammo goes.) I'm not trying to be harsh, it's just that when doctors hear someone say their medication was stolen it makes them think the patient is abusing, plus, I can't help but worry about what this will do to your Relationship with your family member! (Trust is so hard to rebuild...you can do it though so don't give up!)

    What's done is done and they plan to get back on the wagon, that's great! So moving on. What to say to your doctor, if anything. There are two ways to go about this that I see, and I'm sure there are others that can give different ideas.

    Let me tell you what happened to me. One day, I had to go to my school's bookstore. They require everybody to put their bags in cubby holes near the door. This area is not monitored by security or cameras. I assumed there was at least video surveillance! I was so wrong. Somebody must have seen me coming a mile away, and since it's obvious I'm disabled, I'm an easy mark. I placed my bag as usual, and never thought twice about my newly filled, three month supply of medication. Well guess what? Someone stole them. I didn't realize right it away either. So I made three phone calls. The first was to the college. Maybe someone turned them in? Yeah right! The second was to file a police report. And finally I called my doctor. I am VERY established as a patient, so it wasn't as traumatic as I envisioned it would be.

    If you can make it until you either get a refill on schedule or would 'normally' see your doctor, I would wait. If not, you'll need to be honest, but be prepared to produce a police report in order for your insurance to fill it early. Many insurance companies require one for a replacement scrip. I don't know how you feel about filing a report that could seriously affect your family member though.

    Regardless of what you choose to do, I hope it gets settled in a way you're happy with, I hope your family member follows through with getting help, and most importantly I hope you have more pain free days. There is a light...I can see it! Take care.
  • I just seen in the pharmacy the other day a locking cabinet that fits right in your medication cabinet, now if it is the only bathroom that you have, I wouldn't use it. So hopefully by now you have put them in a more secure place. With that said, you can always make a police report, but not give the individual whom did it. The only thing is you are telling the police you are on them. But that indeed will go along way with your doctor.

    Hopefully you have a good report with your doctor and have been seeing them long enough they will help you, but don't be surprised if they won't. If you have any contract, part of that clearly says they are your responsibility. Whatever you do, don't get them from another doctor, without letting that doctor know. I do say honesty is the best policy, though. I think it will depend on how much pressure your doctor is under and your relationship with them. I do wish you good luck, and trust me I know how this goes, it happened with one of my dogs medications and trust me I was embarrassed as all get out, telling them. I keep mine locked up never dreamed of my dogs pain pills which are actually human medications to begin with. Anyway good luck and let us know how it works out.
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  • 10 pills missing no way i would call any police especialy knowing that person is in treatment and is family,

    You cant just call the cops and ask for a police report and pretend you dont know who took it, I could just see it, hmmm ok no breaking and entering but you have no idea who could of taken it, Sounds like an inside job, Ok bring in the police dogs,

    Bring in the investigation team lift some prints, Before you know it cops will frame you for it and you doing prison time sharing a cell with Bubba,

    Do you realy want to share a prison cell with Bubba ? No. Cops ! 10 pills aint the end of the world and as you said next time it will be in a safer place,
    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
  • Yeah.....Since you did not immediately call the police and turn in your friend...then I would not tell the Dr. about this.

    I mean...we can understand not wanting to do this to someone you know....but in any other circumstance....you should call them right away as this is just the same as stealing your car, or any other property you have.

    I would actually be very concerned about this person...They should have never stopped going to meetings...I dated a man who was a recovering alcoholic and even after 10 years...he goes at least once a week to meetings..Maintaining their sobriety is goal number one.

    I am suspicious about this being their first slip up....I mean...it takes a lot to steal a friends medicine that you absolutely need for your own health and well being. So this isn't just one sip of alcohol hidden in their room...

    And I would be that the only reason they are saying that they will go "back" to meetings is so you don't call the police on them...

    And yes...not to be mean here....but I also question why you would leave your medicine out in the open for an addict to get at???

    This is why you should not tell your Dr....They would want to see the police report...and then when you tell them.."uhh....I didn't call them...my friend who's an addict took them and I don't want to turn them in"....This would ruin all the trust this Dr. has in you with prescribing opiates and it would go on your record for other Drs. to see...

    This medicine should be treated like gold...It is solely our responsibility to guard it with every means possible...

    I couldn't imagine wanting to be around this person after they did something so cruel to you. They obviously are not sober....and I think you are fooling yourself if you think this is no big deal....I would bet money that they have been using recently besides this and buying/selling it off the street or stealing from others....

    The absolute best thing you can do for a using addict is to not be an enabler...I would be distancing myself from this person yes...a safe bolted to the floor with ONLY you knowing the combo.

    Since it is only 10 pills....you'll just have to cut your daily allotment way down so that way you won't be totally without...

    I also pray you don't have a drug test at your next visit....

    Again...not trying to be harsh here....but this is a quite a learning lesson and thank you for sharing this here so we can all learn from it...
  • While some people on here gave some great advice and support- others basically just had a nice way about calling my family member a junkie. First off, I AM in recovery myself- so i know the ins and outs of it all. Relapse, recovery, using, meetings, steps, sponsors, sponsees, you name it, and i will be the first to tell you YES i am being a little sensitive bc i have been treated like a criminal by drs and people in the past, while clean, and after having been clean multiple years. Secondly, I met this person in meetings. We all have the same circle of friends, and when this person in the past had been prescribed pain meds, they didn't take them. Furthermore, I have been on meds on and off seeing as I had ACDF in September, and none of my meds were touched. So the trust was there. Now it is not. And I am devastated. I bought a safe last night and am keeping anything I have that is able to be abused in the safe, and the safe is hidden. I have teenage stepsons (I'm 29)- so that's just an all around good idea anyway bc I was ready to drug test them when I found out I was missing 1/3 of my prescription. I'm glad it wasn't them but am beside myself sick to my stomach knowing it was the other person. I have decided not to tell my dr, bc I have seen her in person once, although I have made many phone calls and even 1 trip in to the office just to sit down w a nurse to discuss options for treatment. I am going for a 2nd and possible 3rd opinion for PM docs trying to find one that I feel actually listens. In the long run, if I am on medication for a while, I am going to need to find a different spot to keep the meds. I typically will lock them in a glove box of my car, but as I have lumbar issues and I live on a 2nd floor apt, I need the medication in order to GET DOWN the stairs, so that is why I had them in my house. Mind you I didn't just leave them out, precisely bc I have teenagers- they were in a hidden pocket in my absolute mess of a bag, which was inside my closet.. Problem is I never thought this person would do it. Bc they have been my advocate through it all, and been supportive of me and my recovery both addiction and spine wise. It's a very long story and to not break anonymity I'm not going to get into it, I just want to tell most of you that I appreciate your feedback and support- this is why I love this forum. No matter how many recommendations you get, there are a bunch of different views but mainly all supportive. So THANK YOU!
  • Contents of this post were deleted.

    Spine Health Moderator Team
  • Wait, I thought this person was a family member, not a friend. I must have read it wrong. Unless you met this person at a meeting and it turned out they were family??? Stranger things have happened! But anyway...oh my goodness you must be feeling even worse knowing they rummaged through your stuff!! That so terrible but I'm assuming you know how strong that temptation is and I'm not sure if that would make me feel worse or not. I really don't.

    Now, as far as possibly being unsupportive. I can accept that if you think I was. I really tried very hard to be as kind as possible while still giving the most honest feedback possible. I already knew you are in recovery yourself based on another post of yours and I put it out of my mind when considering your current predicament. What you must understand is that this is an extremely sensitive subject for many CP patients. This is going to sound very mean, and I'm sorry for that but I feel like you should know why people may seem unsupportive to your predicament. While you know what it's like to be treated like a criminal after becoming clean, many of us have been treated the same exact way without ever having engaged in any type of seeking behavior. We have been painted with the same brush, and the sad truth is that the actions of a few have made getting adequate care an ordeal. Not only has it changed how doctors treat us as people, it has even affected our ability to fill certain prescriptions because of allowable manufacturing quotas initiated by the DEA to curb abuse. Heck my pain contract specifically says that stolen meds are my problem and to not even bother telling them. At this point this reason for needing meds early is used so often, it's a gigantic red flag screaming abuse, diversion, etc. Is it fair? Maybe not. Just be aware that this is a almost a guaranteed way to label you again.

    Make no mistake, I commend your strength for going through all the meetings (and all the other necessary things to reach a recovery stage) and still be able to take your medication the way you are supposed to. That must take an inordinate amount of strength, I simply cannot even fathom it. I do hope that your friend/family member hasn't ruined your relationship completely and since they were your rock before, perhaps it's your chance to be theirs. I still stand by what I said earlier and don't think you should give up on them.

    Now, let's get to the part that has some people in hysterics. Melodramatics aside, we all have very different views about how we handle illegal behavior, even in regards to family members. My views are extreme to some, and that's fine with me, it's what makes them MY views. I wouldn't hesitate to turn in a family member for illegal behavior. I do not apologize for that. I was raised to believe in being lawful, and that belief system doesn't waiver if it happens to be family. As I have actually experienced my medication being stolen I understand the process where those who have not experienced it or have not known someone who has gone through it simply do not understand how it works. I was told by my insurance company that they require a police report to fill it early. Even with that report, they counted the stolen bottle as a refill. It sucks but that's just the way it is. Your concern seemed to be how to handle the situation and maintain your relationship between you and your brand new doctor. The advice might not be pretty, but its tried and true. And as you asked for "any advice" that's what I gave.

    I prefaced my original response with the possibility that you might not like it as well as apologized for that likelihood. I'm not sure what else I could have done to be nice. But once again I wish both you and you friendly member ;) the best. I do hope this can be worked out without lasting damage, and as always I wish you many pain free days.

    Take care!
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