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- 4 Post By ARTIST658
Advice from a Pharmacist
Advice from a Pharmacist
Hi. I posted this in another forum, but then thought I should ask a pharmacist, given the details below. So, please pardon the duplicate post:
I am new to this forum, or any forum, for that matter, and really need to get this off my chest before I crumble with guilt, shame and fear.
In November of last year, I broke some ribs, was prescribed narcotics, took as prescribed, and went to my PCP with the full story and was issued 2, as scheduled, refills. VERY shortly thereafter, a monster awoke inside me and I went off to a few docs who prescribed schedule III (vicodin) for other somewhat legitimate medical issues individually, but I doubled up on Drs for second opinions and was happy to take the script. I conveniently "forgot" to mention the first opinion in each case. The scripts were in small quantities (20ct, 28ct.), but definitinely overlapped, and I definitely knew what I was doing, as I went to a few different large chain pharmacies to hide my behavior.
I have since had a prescription for cough syrup with codeine refilled (small amount, 100mLs), but I called up today and cancelled it because I am worried about "usage". So, I have not been "red flagged"... yet... but waiting for it to come.
Well, my binge is over, I am sober for a few weeks, and I am terrified as I wait for the anvil to drop for doctor shopping. It was a relatively short burst, a few doctors and pharmacies, and absolutely wrong and against the law. I am so scared now that I have done some research into how the "system" works, that I want nothing to do with these pills ever again... but will I pay dearly for a short tract of abuse? (Which, by the way, is completely not worth it looking in the rearview mirror.)
Can anyone provide any guidance to how long these things tend to play out in Pennsylvania? Each state is different, as I have come to understand it. Nothing was schedule II, so the state won't be alerted automatically, but I am worried about the multiple pharmacies that I used and how they communicate to each other (and their 3rd party script tracking processors). Will their databases shake this out, or is it only if someone "looks me up"?
I am generally very blessed, and have so much to lose. I am responsible for my actions, I know, but that doesn't mean that I am not terrified of the consequences.
Please, anyone, words? Advice? Similar experiences?
I am telling you that if they have not caught up with you yet; and you are no longer going to the DRS.-you are fine!! I have known many abusers, users, etc. that have done the same thing, still seeing their original DR., and have BEVER been foun out. From N.E. to IN. to FL. to WA. and PA. Take a deep breath--relax, and go about your busimess as NORMAL!! 4 REAL!!!!
Originally Posted by Spiritualist
I wish there were such a guarantee (that "you are fine") - but just because you've stopped for now, that doesn't mean you're in the clear forever. Many states have in place a central registry that tracks narcotic prescriptions, and more states are working on getting this kind of computerized system up and running.
With such a system in place, if you go to an ER or a doctor who utilizes it, they will be able to pull up your history of narcotic prescriptions. Although you probably won't get prosecuted with criminal charges at this point, your history can lead to a good deal of difficulty in getting narcotic prescriptions in the future.
Of even greater concern, however - is that you need to realize that you're at serious risk for addiction, given this kind of drug use and abuse. You're probably in the early stages, but addiction is a sneaky little monster that creeps up on us without our seeing it coming. At this point, it is within your power to stop it - and stay stopped. With addiction, it is always progressive - it gets worse over time. So let this little "scare" be all you need to heed the warning signs!
Wise words, and I'd like to elaborate on them.
Originally Posted by ARTIST658
You are absolutely an addict. You caught it fast it seems but you still need to be careful. Are you totally clean now? How often do you think about using? If they are dominating your thoughts (like they did mine, and I know will again I am sure) you need to get help. If you do I suggest suboxone, for me it totally stopped my cravings and let me move on. It is very likely you may not need this, but you are at risk, and suboxone is a godsend for this problem. I mostly mention this because you don't need to be a full blown active addict to go on suboxone, I started it when the physical part of my addiction was over a year behind me, but it still consumed my thoughts.
You also may want to talk to at least your primary doctor who wrote your scripts, or maybe all of them and ask about what is kept on file. I do know there is a very clear list that can be printed out of all prescriptions, the amount and they date filled here in Florida. It actually surprised me when I first saw it.
In terms of facing charges for doctor shopping I agree with the other people in this thread, if you have stopped and it as been a few weeks you are fine. My main concern is your addiction and drug seeking behavior. Be careful and vigilant, you can and must get help if you feel the monster coming back.
Suggesting Subs at this point is nonsense. If you are clean, you don't need them. Subs themselves are a very powerful narcotic that are used as a tool to get clean but not to "prevent" abusing/addiction in the first place. It can be a useful tool for full blown active addicts who are unable to get clean after having tried other methods. The narcotics you describe are a whole lot easier to kick than if you were to get caught up with subs. You've recognized the risk and your "aptitude" for getting into real trouble with narcotics. You don't put a cast on your leg so that you won't break it; you avoid risk. Kinda a stupid analogy but it's the same here. Work on staying clean and avoid narcotics.
Your original post was about your concern about shopping and getting into trouble. Ruth, as usual, gave you good advice. Your shopping could still surface but so long as you've stopped you most likely would get your hand slapped. Of course, it's entirely possible that nothing will come of this. Consider it as you having dodged a bullet and accept the lesson as a gift.
"Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars." Kahil Gibran (1883-1931).