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Drug-Seeking Behavior

I’ve had the distinct honor of working in a pharmacy for a year of my life.  That was about 6 years ago.  I was a fresh-faced teenager in my first year of college.  Within that year, I successfully lost every bit of my faith in humanity.  When you see what lengths people go to get their hands on controlled substances, the world looks a little different.  The most hilarious ones were those who had somehow stolen a prescription pad from his or her doctor’s office, and started writing fake scripts (prescriptions).  Maybe this will include a little inside pharmacy humor, but you should be able to catch on quickly.

Me: So let me get this straight–your doctor wants you to take 6 Vicodin every hour and “as needed”?

Them: Yeah, he said he’d start me off on a low dose.

Me: Riiiight. *dialing the police*

The most awkward time working in a pharmacy has to be when someone drops off a fake prescription, then leaves.  The pharmacist calls the doctor to verify that he or she did not actually prescribe “opium chewables”, then calls the police to get the offender arrested when he or she comes back to pick up the medicine.  The waiting game is absolutely nerve-wracking.  The person comes back in, and gives his or her name to pick up the drugs.  The exchange usually goes:

Them: I’m here to pick up a prescription for (insert name)

Me: Oh, it was almost ready, but we started having computer problems.  It should be just a minute.

Then the standing around staring at one another begins.  It’s hard to tell who’s more nervous; us or the person committing fraud.  Usually, the criminal gets wise and leaves before the police arrive.  (I think the police in my city drive Power Wheels to the scene of a crime, based on the response time.)  The best is when, just as the perp is trying to exit, the police walk through the door and catch the drug addict.

I’m honestly surprised that people who are hooked on these prescription drugs don’t at least try to look respectable.  He or she might as well walk up to me and say, “Don’t worry, these sores were on my arms BEFORE I started taking, producing, and distributing meth!”  Oh, all my fears have been put to rest.

And for goodness’ sake, if you’re going to forge a prescription, don’t get greedy!  It really insults a pharmacist’s intelligence to think they wouldn’t know that your doctor doesn’t prescribe “a gallon of any cough syrup with codeine in it”.  You have to wake up pretty early in the morning to fool a pharmacist (before 4:18 a.m., to be exact).

Have you ever heard of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996?  No?  Perhaps if I abbreviated it as “HIPAA”?  Still not ringing a bell?  Have you ever had to sign anything at your doctor’s office or pharmacy?  You didn’t even read it, did you?  That signed statement says that you are aware of your rights under HIPAA.  You have no clue what your rights are, do you?  That’s okay; for all you know, you could have been signing a Denny’s placemat with a human finger.  You just wanted your antibiotics so you could get rid of the cough that had you up all night, even though you were supposed to wake up early the next morning to give an important presentation, but then you overslept, you went into your presentation looking like a homeless guy who just so happens to own a briefcase, and you coughed something resembling escargot into your boss’s coffee cup.  THAT’S why you don’t care what you just signed.  I totally understand.

Basically, HIPAA allows your doctor, his staff, the pharmacy, your insurance company, the Assistant to the Undersecretary of the Interior, and your grandmother (God rest her soul) to access your medical records in order to provide medical services to you.  In order to protect your rights, it also places harsh punishment on anyone in the above listed group (even Grandma) who uses your information for personal gain, profit, or just for kicks.

Let’s be honest: most so-called “diseases” are actually the fault of whoever has it.  Most can be avoided by taking simple steps, such as hand-washing and living in a sanitized, vacuum-sealed home where you only eat unprocessed organic walnuts and carrots.  All diseases can be broken into 2 categories: “Non-communicable Diseases That Are Your Fault”, and “Communicable Diseases That Are Your Fault”.

Examples of “Non-Communicable Diseases That Are Your Fault”:

–Heart Disease

–Stroke

–Type 2 Diabetes

–Skin Cancer

–Rockin’ Pneumonia

–The Boogie-Woogie Flu

Examples of “Communicable Diseases That Are Your Fault”:

–Mono

–Head Lice

–Ringworm

–Swine Flu

–Tiger Measles

–Ostrich Meningitis

More than drug-seeking behavior, there’s something else that really made me lose respect for society as a whole.  I remember it, for sure, was a Tuesday (or maybe a Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, or Sunday), and I was working in the pharmacy.  A nicely-dressed young girl, probably 14 or 15 years old, came into the pharmacy with her dad.  They dropped off the daughter’s prescription  for a medicated cream.  After I had typed it into the computer and prepared it for the pharmacist to verify, a co-worker leaned over to me and whispered . . .

Him: “Do you know what that cream is for?”

Me: “No, I don’t have to fill that medicine too often.”

Him: “It’s for warts.”

Me: “What kind of warts?”

Him: “Not the hand kind.”

Goodbye, faith in humanity.

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  1. AlittleConfused
    June 20, 2009 at 11:26 am

    “Not the hand kind…”? i don’t get it.

    • kylebaxter
      June 20, 2009 at 5:16 pm

      That’s OK. It’s not anything I can explain in great detail, haha

  2. June 27, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    So… since groceryman is gone are we likely to see government man pop up in the near future? And I always wondered why he stopped after the EBT fiasco…

    • kylebaxter
      June 27, 2009 at 11:37 pm

      Word around town is that he couldn’t keep up with the rigors of updating a blog. Some rumors say he had another blog as well. I’ve never come across it, but I’m sure it’s even more worthwhile than groceryman.

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