Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Thursday, March 18, 2010 Cadauctions, Community Member, asks

Q: I need help desperatley.

I need help desperatley. My wife has chronic pain and as a result the doctor gives her opana10mg and opana 20mg as well as methadone. A couple of days ago my friend Alan, who is a major pill addict and also happens to have the same doctor as my wife, came to my house in the morning. He was early so I had been woken up by him, and my wife was getting ready to go out. I went to the bathroom and came back downstairs and after a brief discussion of nothing in particular he left. After a couple of hours my wife went out and came back home and discovered that he had stolen five of her pills (opana). So I called his cell phone repeatedly and he would not answer. So I finally out of frustration left a message on his voice mail that he cannot come to my house and steal pills from my wife and just get away with it, if he does not call within the hour I will go to the police and tell them what you did. After a while of still not hearing from him, I decided to try being nice, and called again but this time I left another message that it is done and over with and I do not want to lose a friend over this, so please just call and explain what is going on and why he did this. So the next day I saw Alans sister who actually lives right next to me, and she said that he stole them because he found out that his girlfriend is pregnant, who is also addicted to pills, and she tried to get into a clinic to get help but she could not since she is pregnant, so they took those pills and snotred them and right after Alan went to a clinic but she is still home. So the next thing we hear is my wifes doctor calls her in for a count and of coarse she is 5 pills short because they stole them. She did not see the doctor yet, and wont until next friday 3/26 and will find out her fate if she is going to lose the pills or not. What can she do? She signed a contract and I guess she could lose them according to the nurse that did the count. She is not selling them, they got stolen. If need be she will file a report, but we really don't want to do that to him, since he is finally after years getting help, but I don't know if the doctor will beleive her otherwise. Does anyone have any ideas?

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Answers (6)
Karen Lee Richards, Health Guide
3/18/10 8:21pm

You are in quite a predicament.  I think you have to file a police report in order for there to be any chance your wife's doctor will continue to treat her.  He has no way of knowing or any reason to believe they were actually stolen unless you file a report. 

 

I understand your concern for your friend, but you have to remember that he had no concern for you or your wife when he chose to steal her meds.  He was willing to lose your friendship and possibly jeapordize your wifes ability to ever get pain medication again just to meet his and his girlfriend's "needs."  Also, an important part of his rehab and recovery is facing the consequences for what he's done and making amends.  In the long run, you're not doing him any favors by letting him get by with it.  This is one of those situations that calls for tough love. 

 

I'd also like to strongly recommend that from now on, your wife keep her opioid medications locked in a safe place that only you and she know about.  I hope her doctor will agree to continue treating her, but if her meds were ever to be stolen again, I seriously doubt that he would do so again.  The bottom line is, it's her responsibility to safeguard her medications and ensure that they are not misused.  I know that may sound harsh, but that's how doctors look at it.  They can't afford to take chances because they risk losing their licenses and possibily even being prosecuted. 

 

You might find this article helpful and informative:  Treatment Agreements: What You Need to Know Before You Sign

 

Good luck to you and your wife.  I hope her doctor will be understanding.

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Cadauctions, Community Member
3/19/10 2:13am

Hello,

 I appreciate you taking time to post a response. I would like to say that you are right on the money with everything you said. I have no problem doing a police report on him to help my wife beleive me. This is not fair at all to my wife Colleen. Basically I guess I was just wondering what are the chances that a police report would do any good, and also if missing only 5 of her pills is enough to make him angry enough to take away her meds. The thing that sucks here is that his girlfriend may have been the one to get my wife called in for a count. See... I think she got my message, threat actually about calling the cops, and out of desperation decided to call Colleens doctor and say she is selling them. The reason I think this is because Colleen has not ever been called in for a count in the 7 years she has been with this doctor. She has been tested at random and passed all the time, but never called in. When she asked why she got called in she was told her number came up, which seems really weird since she never had been called for a count before. Beleive me she absolutley did not sell these pills, he stole them, but he is in a clinic and we cannot get a hold of him because of anonimity, but if we could, he would most likely call the doctor and tell him the truth. Anyway, I hope that we can get through this and I will never allow him back around my family ever again.

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Karen Lee Richards, Health Guide
3/22/10 6:58pm

Your wife's doctor sounds like a compassionate man, so if she has a police report, hopefully he will be understanding.  But I do think a police report would be very important.  Try to think of it from his prespective – why should he believe the pills were stolen if she is not willing to file a police report? 

 

My best suggestion would be for your wife to be completely honest with her doctor.  Explain what happened, give him the police report, assure him that this "friend" will no longer be allowed in her home, and tell him the steps she has taken to lock up her meds so no one else has access to them.  That's about the best she can do.  Hopefully it will help him see that she is taking this seriously and has taken the necessary steps to ensure that it doesn't happen again. 

 

I hope you'll come back and let us know how this works out.  Good luck!

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Cadauctions, Community Member
3/25/10 1:08pm

Just a quick note. Yesterday my wife went through her text messages, and finally found one that he sent to her and asked if she would sell him some, and she replied very strongly that she does not do that and will not. Then I looked up how to retreive erased messages, and was able to recover a text she sent him after he stole them where she was angry and told him that she was going to the police, and he replied that he is sorry for taking them please don't go to the police because I am getting help now..... She is going to show these to her doctor tommorrow and hopefully it will help.

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Karen Lee Richards, Health Guide
3/25/10 5:44pm

Glad to hear you were able to retreive those texts.  That certainly should back up her explanation.  I sincerely hope her doctor is compassionate and understanding.  Please let us know what happens tomorrow.

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Cadauctions, Community Member
3/27/10 8:30pm

Well... She lost her meds. She wanted to show him the text but he would not look at them. He said that the evidence all points to her diverting her meds. The scumbag that stole her meds, also stole from 4 other people  in the week that surrounded my wifes pills disappearing. I cannot beleive that after seven years of him giving her meds, he now is not giving her any and he will not even let her defend herself against the aligations. She sat in the room balling her eyes out and he did not even care. He has broken Hippa laws, he has been post dating test so that her insurance will pay for them, he has been letting me look at his computer with all the patients files in it, and yet he acts all innocent. What a completely wrong way for the doctors to treat their patients. I absolutely wish I could find the ass that stole her pills and, well.... draw your own conclusions. I am seriously considering filing a complaint with the AMA against him too.

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Karen Lee Richards, Health Guide
3/29/10 12:03am

I'm so sorry to hear that.  Did you file a police report and show it to him? 

 

If he broke HIPPA laws and behaved unethically, the people you want to file a complaint with is your state medical board.  That's who controls whether he can keep his license to practice medicine in your state. 

 

I hope your wife is able to find another doctor who will treat her.

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MillieKeyLargo, Community Member
3/18/10 9:02pm

I have to agree with the other poster. Your "friend" has an addiction issue, not a pain issue. Your wife has a pain issue and because of your so called friend she can loose her Doctor and her pain relief, I rather loose a friend like that one and not loose my Doctor! Have you asked your wife what she rather do? This is her lifeline, her medications that she needs to survive, and once you are labeled a drug seeker by one Doctor or clinic, it is very difficult to find another Doctor that is going to be willing to prescribe her meds. So, which one is a better choice? I vote for the police report and for your wife been able to keep her Doctor and her medical care.

Life is full of tough choices, your friend didn't think of you or your wife when he stoled the meds from her, maybe is time for him to face the music and the consequences of his actions. Take care and good luck,

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Cadauctions, Community Member
3/19/10 2:22am

I completely agree with you I am just hoping is does some good and that it will be anough for the doctor to keep her as a patient. He is a very tolerant doctor. I have seen him keep patients that fail the drug test and go in yelling at him for taking them off meds, and so he will give them another medication stronger than what they were on. I guess that makes him a very compationate person, but I always thought people were taking advantage of him. Now I am hoping he still has anough compasion left for her. I own a computer repair business, and I have helped him with his computers for free just to let him know I appreciate what he does for her, but no doctor is going to take a chance of losing his practice for any patient. I was wondering though.... If she passes the drug test part showing that she has the meds in her system, and there are only five missing, why is that so terrible? I am not trying to be facesious, but I always thought the reson for counts, and testing were to see if the patient is taking the meds, not selling them. I mean not in this case, but in others, a couple of pills missing out of 56, could most likely be because the patient was experiencing extra pain and needed a couple extra to get by, that is if the patient passes the drug test and shows that it is in their system. Anyway, I was just wondering.

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MillieKeyLargo, Community Member
3/19/10 8:46am

I understand your train of thought when you say " why is it so terrible that she is missing 5 pills, maybe she was in more pain and took more", but the thing is that pain management Doctor's give us our "main" pain medication, for me that is Methadone, and then I have what they call break through medication; that one for me is Dilaudid. I am only to take the Dilaudid when my pain is so terrible that I need an inmmediate boost of medication, and Dilaudid gives me that since Methadone is the type of medication that does not relieve pain inmmediatley, you have to take enough of it through a period of time for it to build up in your system.

So for your wife the Methadone is the main pain medication (I am assuming), and then the Opana is the break through medication, so depending on how this plays out he could think that she is abusing her Opana, or worst giving it away.

And let's don't loose sight of what the real issue is here.... You have a friend that crushes his medications and snores them! If that is not an addiction, I don't know then what is! He needs help. I know that filling a police report might or might not get him the help that he needs, but it will send a message to him and that is NOT OK to come to your house and steal from you or your wife, and that is not OK to go through life fooling Doctor's because of his addictions.

People like me and your wife that are in intractable pain, have enough problems getting Doctor's to believe us and to prescribe us medications, because of people like your friend that abuses the system. If one more abuser of the system can be taken out of circulation, you helped not only your wife, but also the millions of people that are in chronic and/or intractable pain and have to go through life convincing Doctor's that their pain is real and that they deserve compassionate care and the medications that come with it......

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Cadauctions, Community Member
3/19/10 6:38pm


Everything you say is 100% my way of thought as well. I would like to say that you are very insightful, and I appreciate your responses. You are also correct about her meds and the breakthrough is opana. I have to say though, not just for my wife, but for every person who receives pain managment. It is completly unfair that doctors are able to get you hooked on these powerful meds, and then completly relinguish themselves of responsability by shutting  you off for every and any little thing they can come up with. Just like if you went on vacation to someplace and then got called in for a count, or test and you could not get there even though it is not your fault, they can shut you off, and actually have to shut you off. I am not on meds, but I think it is extremly wrong the way that you have to live. Like you said, it is bad enough that you have all these things wrong in the first place, but you have to be at the mercy of your doctor for help. Also what happens when your doctor retires, or dies and you get a new doctor that disagrees with the way your doctor is doing things. So the new doctor changes everything. I know that these meds have become a big abuse problem, but they have gone way too strict with it. History has taught us that we cannot completly control anything like this no matter how we try. The strictness has not stopped or even slowed down the abuse, it has only punished the truly needy patients that seek these meds. And the thing about taking a few extra pills, what have they really done? You could take your meds the right way, and then go on the streets to get the extras you need. Not that I think anyone should because that is the whole problem in a nutshell, but it is just to show that testing is only a partial good. And if they do go on the streets then the testing has only caused more of a problem with the selling of these meds, because the patient has to have the pain releive one way or the other. Please dont think that my wife odes this because she doesn't, nor would she, I just wanted to make the point. Anyway, I am not going to change it here with my bitchin, but I just feel really bad for you guys, and as for my wife... something that I did not mention, we have two children, a boy 12, and a girl 9. Even with these meds, my wife has a lot of pain still but it makes it so that she can at least get out of bed, and do some things. If she gets shut off, she might as well be dead for all the living she would be able to do. My children will be stuck home for the entire summer, and I will be taking all of the responsabilities. These are just a couple of the reasons why I am so worried. I appreciate the post, but I must go because I am depressed now.

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MillieKeyLargo, Community Member
3/20/10 2:18am

You know, I agree with you 100%! I am one of those lucky ones that don't have a medication contract with my PM Doc. Here in Florida a lot of PM Doc's don't require them, but they do require a referral from a Neurosurgeon or some other professional in order for the patient to get prescribe pain meds. During my last visit this week I was talking to my PM Doc about all of the changes that the FDA is proposing with the new REMS, etc. and he told me that he feels that the REMS system is going to make a lot of pain management Doc's want to get out of the practice of prescribing pain meds and going back to just doing Anesthesiology work. That could be sad for a whole lot of us! If you don't know what REMS is and what the FDA is proposing, I urge you and your wife to go online and read about it. You can find tons of information here on health central, and you can also find it on the internet.

Things are going to get worst for many of us..... I don't even know if my current PM Doc is going to be there for me when REMS comes into place, so in the meantime I am greatful for I have, and I pray that I can keep my current system of care long enough until they find a cure for my condition. Good luck,

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Ozigal, Community Member
3/20/10 10:48am

Dear Cadauctions,

It is very difficult for your wife to be in so much pain 24/7, but please don't lose sight of the difficulties you face as well. I cared for my hubby for nearly 10 years when he became seriously disabled and suffered constant intractable pain.

 

Initially I grieved for the life we had, now forever changed, our future plans now non-existant, while I had to shoulder the responsiblities on my own.

I became carer, cleaner, financier, cook, mechanic, tutor (son studying yr 12 then Uni), all while living on a pittance, the list goes on.

 

All the while I was living with a man that was a shell of his former self, severely depressed and angry with the world, a total opposite of the many reasons I fell in love with him. Many a time when alone I would have a good cry then take some deep breaths and get back to it.

 

You sound like a loving husband trying to do his best but don't forget your own emotional state. If you feel depressed speak to a doctor, check for online carer forums to unite with people undergoing the same experiences, seek a counselor to chat to, a priest perhaps, a good friend maybe.

 

Also, the children may have concerns about their Mum or Dad, family life, the future etc. that they have not been able to express. 

 

I am sure your wife and yourself will find a failsafe hiding place for the pills so it can't happen again and I dearly hope the Dr won't penalise you this one time, remember your wife has a 7yr history of being a responsible patient, let's hope it counts.

 

If I were in your shoes I might ask my selfish friend where I could buy 5 pills to replace the ones he stole but then that action would involve you in a criminal act.

 

I send you and your wife the best of wishes and also best of luck with the Doctors upcoming "pill count". Yours truly   Ozigal

 

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darla, Community Member
3/21/10 6:42pm

 If it were me, I'd suck it up for a few days. You do not say how often which pills are Rx'd. So, if there is some leeway there, meaning take only the ones you can & not take the 5 for however long.  PS~addicts will be addicts, so have him do what an addict who IS a friend would do.....

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darla, Community Member
3/21/10 6:50pm

A P.S. to my previous post; I considered the option of reporting this to the police.  I do not know you or your Dr. but I DO know badly this can damage the relationship with a Dr.  ie; "Yopu should have kept your meds in a place that...."  & the list can go on.  Of course you do not expect your friends to steal, but what prompted your wife to count them in the 1st place?  I don't think I saw that in your post.  Best of luck to you!

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Cadauctions, Community Member
3/22/10 10:22am

My wife got called in before for not having taken her meds correctly, so she went out and purchased one of those 7 day pill holders, and that is what he took them from. She noticed because one of the days (sunday) was empty. So she checked them all and there were two missing from saturday as well, and we think he may have taken the two a different day but she didn't notice it yet. Sorry I left this out of the post because I did not know it could be important. The thing is the doctor will say that, and I am pretty sure that she is screwed. They took a urine test as well, and she will pass the test and have the meds in her system, but since there were some missing I am pretty sure he will shut her off. We are hoping though that since the meds are in her system he will take mercy on her and at least let her keep the methadone. Although they asked her why there were two different types of pills in her methadone bottle. The Pharmacy gave her Methadose, and Methadone because they did not have enough of the generic methadone to fill the prescription, so they mixed it. This is not uncommon here, but the nurse was asking about it and called the pharmacy, and who knows what they will say if it was not the person who filled it.

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Cadauctions, Community Member
3/22/10 10:30am

I know there is a discrepancy in the amount because 4 plus 2 is six, and the reason is because my wife had one extra pill that she had not taken that day yet so when the count came out she was five short, and I posted this, then later she told me that it was actually six, so this is a mistake on my part.

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Cadauctions, Community Member
3/23/10 3:11pm

I was just sitting here tearing up and I came to a realization that I blame myself for everything. It was me that let him into our home and our lives. It was me that called the cell phone to make the threat about the cops which is most likely what made his girlfriend call my wifes doctor. It was me that told him who my wifes doctor is. I want to fix it, but don't know how, and it seems like my wife does not want to do anything about it. She will not even talk about it and if I do she gets angry. I have been doing a lot of reading and found out how bad withdrawls are from methadone, but she does not want to hear about it and I don't blame her but I am having a really hard time trying to figure out how to fix this so her doctor does not take away her meds. Today is tuesday and I have until friday so I will not give up, but it does look gloomy. And I know some people probably look at this and think that the story seems shady, so what is her doctor going to think?

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Cadauctions, Community Member
3/27/10 11:47pm

Ya know I was just sitting here thinking, this jerk steals her pills leaving her short, then the doctor takes away her scripts because he stole them, and now leaving me to find her pills on the streets. Now the doctor has made us have to look for another person that gets meds, and try to get some which may leave that person screwed and it becomes a never ending cycle. How is this working to make drug seeking go away? It seems it would only be making it worse.

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By Cadauctions, Community Member— Last Modified: 06/22/13, First Published: 03/18/10