I hate feeling I have something to hide or be on guard. You’re so right, when someone’s medication is stolen they’rs victimized by the thief and the patient is the only person likely to suffer REAL CONSEQUENCES. Beyond withdrawal, they may face other consequences. Some law enforcement agencies are actually refusing to even write reports unless there’s obvious breaking and entering, witnessed theft from an individual, or video evidence. They cite the volume of requests and officer time involved. Further, the officer may suspect the theft occurred as result of the patient being known to sell medication — regardless of whether there’s any indication whatsoever of this. Lastly, the patient may become a source of law enforcement attention if it’s felt the dosage or quantity exceeds the moving target of what meets criteria for a high dose.
Aside from law enforcement, the prescriber may become distrustful, wondering whether his or her instincts about the patient were correct or incorrect. They may discharge the patient — even at the first occurrence. They may feel the the patient can’t protect their medication. If a patient toughs it out, but gets called for a drug screen and pill count, theft may seen as a cover story to hide misuse, OUD, or diversion. Lastly, a doctor may tell the patient that they’re better off not restarting meds if they have completed withdrawal, saying that if they got by without any meds until their appointment, that they continue doing so. Most people would never think about it like this, but having pain medication stolen can fundamentally change a patients life — for days, weeks, months, years, or it might never be totally the same.
Betta, love your articles, keep it up!