Posted 3/15/2009 4:13 AM (GMT -6)
Hello Kitty,

That IS scary. Thank you, sincerely for

I gotta run now ... gotta lock my doors.

Posted 3/15/2009 4:17 AM (GMT -6)
Posted 3/15/2009 5:01 AM (GMT -6)
I keep my meds in a lockbox,but there is no way anyone would be able to get into my house.I have 2 dogs. They sound/look very vicious.
Posted 3/15/2009 7:53 AM (GMT -6)
Beleive me, it's not just in the DC area, It's everywhere! Not a day goes by here in S.Fla. where a drug store isn't robbed of their narcotic pain pills. Old people, espesially women are being robbed in their cars and parking lots. These jerks grab purses and beat-up old men and take their wallets and home invavions are up something like 100% since last year. They bust in someones house, beat up whoever is home or kill them and take whatever they want. It's so sickening!!! These people have NO conscience, life means nothing to them. Then if the do get caught and sent to jail, they have to let others just like them out of jail early because there is no room in the jails! I am terified about my 82 year old Mother who still drives herself around this area. She is driving less as she does watch the news and is scared but still has to go out. I would be devistated if anything happens to her because we were suposed to be living up in the country with my wife by now! She hates it here and so do I but w/ the economy and my work sittuation, I just can't leave yet! Talk about guilt! I worry myself to sleep every night about my Mom! I can't write anymore, it's too upsetting!
Love You People!
56 years old, Surgury, Radical Prostatectomy 8/20/03, PSA 6.6, Gleason 3 + 3 = 6, Adenocarcinoma extent (moderate) Stage & Margin:T2NOMX, No Metastases, Organ Confined, bone scan: Neg. 3 1/2 years of depression after surgery prior to Hypogonadizm DX, Testosterone Theropy> new 2/6/09> 400mg injections every 2weeks . 56 and so glad to still be here to see my two sons grow up to be fine young men. They are both serving in the US Navy, one on the aircraft carrier USS John Stennis in port in Japan and the other on a Gator Freighter USS Bataan stationed in Norfolk, Va. I am one proud PaPa! 

Posted 3/15/2009 2:25 PM (GMT -6)

My doc gave me some good advice. Do not tell others what you take. Do not say the name of the drug out loud at the pharmacy counter. And I pocket the filled prescription before I leave the store. I also keep all of my pain meds under lock and key. I have had to take pain meds since 1995 and have experienced all of the horror stories of being treated as an addict by the docs, pharmacist, family and friends. That is why I keep a med alert card with me, and only my doctors, pharmacist, and close loved one know exactly what I take.

I really wish that life could be different. That drug abuse was a thing of the past. That pharmaceutical drugs could not be abused. That there would be a sure fire way to tell between the abusers and the real patients. I know in the past 13 years that there have been many postive changes for the pain patient. I have experienced many of them. And I have to believe that in the next 13 years that the drug companies, docs, and pharmacist will become better educated on how to care for the pain patient.

Posted 3/15/2009 3:16 PM (GMT -6)
I would not consider carrying medication in a purse because of all the purse snatching that goes on. Women are targets in parking lots, especially women alone. I am just not so sure Kitty this is good idea, but you know best for where you live. The same has most of the time when I am out, I put my debit card, drivers license and cash if I have any in my pockets of my jeans or pants. All women should do this particulary during the holidays when out when purse snatching is at its all time high.

My pharmacy actually has a free standing stop sign that asks customers to stand behind it until its their turn at the counter. This is due to HIPA laws. The techs are all very quiet, no loud talking going on when you get your scripts. My pharmacy is in the grocery store. And its so true, no one should know what medication you are on except the ones that need to know....Susie

Posted 3/15/2009 3:29 PM (GMT -6)
Your pharmacy is sure doing it right! And that's a rarity. You should see the HOSPITAL pharmacy my insurance (which is through the hospital - COBRA coverage) forces me to use. The lack of privacy is appalling. A tiny space. Of course, they make you sign all kinds of junk as a CYA policy. Your place is doing it right.

But Kitty, I guess i do lean with Susie about purse snatchings. And I could never, ever FIT all my meds in my purse. All the bottles. I can't carry a large purse because it hurts my arm and shoulder (what I learned years ago to help my neck). But it wouldn't matter what size purse, all my meds would never fit! I'd be afraid someone would see how closely I was holding my purse and that would clue them in that I must have something valuable in there. Maybe there are other options. I know some people have lock boxes.

There's certainly nothing that's 100% for any of us anymore, sadly.

Posted 3/15/2009 4:03 PM (GMT -6)

Thank you for posting this. It serves as a very good reminder. And to everyone else who has posted a story, good reminders.

But especially I wish to thank you for posting about the pharmacy putting meds on the counter and everyone being able to see them. I'm going to ask mine to bag my meds before bringing them to the counter. They have privacy 'walls' now on the counter at the pharmacy I use, but there are still the customers behind who can easily see what meds are on the counter.
Wife: Liz
Dogs: Koshka & Chomp

Posted 3/15/2009 5:15 PM (GMT -6)
When at home I keep my pain medications in my safe. I was able to get it pretty cheap for as big and sturdy as it is. I would recommend getting one of these to anyone who has the money. My only problem with it is that is weighs quite a bit and I could not lift it so I left it on the floor in the closet. So now to get my meds out I have so squat or sit on the floor. Doing this is hard for me and I do have a cane for these types of movements. I don't use it to walk with but I carry it with me to aid in sitting or getting up. So.... having an actual safe has its ups and downs but as far as security, you cannot beat it.

People have mentioned lock boxes but those are not very secure and if someone really wanted to, all they have to do is pick it up and take it with them. Also, I used to practice lock picking as a hobby. I had found that a normal lock box was one of the easiest things I have ever picked open. Usually I was able to get one of those open with just a paper clip or a penknife. I am not trying to scare anyone but I just wanted to give everybody a heads up about the security of your average Wal-Mart (or other department store) lock box that only has a keyed lock. I would say that maybe one of those that has the keypad on it (my safe actually has a combination lock and is sometimes hard for me to open!) or something similar to that would be more secure but I have never tried to get one of those open before, so I am not entirely sure.

When I used to take oral pain medication and when I was out and about (I do travel a lot for my work) I kept my pain medications in a steel container with a carabiner attached to it. I would hang the container from my belt loop and it would hang down into my pocket so you could see nothing but the carabiner. If someone took it to mind to try and steal it from me, they would probably have to knock me out before being able to get it away from me. I bought this from an online store and it was designed to hold medication. Think of the normal pill containers you see in drugstores that go on your keyring, this one is just bigger and could hold 120 Norco at a time.

When I am staying in hotels, etc. I always worry that if I leave a medication in my room, some staff might find and/or steal it. I bought a diversion safe for this type of situation. You can get them that look like hairspray, deodorant, shaving cream or even other items like oil cans and detergents. It is just a hollowed out container that has a threaded bottom end so you can get inside and store things in it. The logic behind this is that if no one knows that there is stuff inside of there, they cannot even begin to try and steal it! They even sell some of these things that have working shaving cream or whatever is supposed to be in the container! It is very slick.

I hope this may help anyone who is in the market for a lock box or similar device to keep their medications safe. As I said above, I used to pick locks for fun and locks/safes of any kind have always fascinated me! You can find actual safes in any department store or you can find many different sites online. The steel pill containers I was talking about are described as a "Jumbo Steel Pill Vial". You can search online for various "Diversion Safes" of all types, shapes, brands and sizes. Please let me know if this information was useful for you.

Fentanyl Patch - 100mcgs x 72 hours
Baclofen - 10mg x 8 hours

Posted 3/15/2009 6:48 PM (GMT -6)
Yes, this is very useful. I remember hearing something about "diversion safes" but I didn't know the name for them. I almost wonder if these would be better to have even around the house, as something look for pills bottles or a safe might not look at a shampoo bottle!

Posted 3/15/2009 7:10 PM (GMT -6)
My pills wouldn't fit in a shampoo bottle. I think I'd have to drop them in
one at a time. What kind of Shampoo do you use?

How about an oatmeal box or a bread box or in the empty box of cat sand
Or laundry detergent.

I believe we could go on for a very long time thinking of places for hiding.
I've seen hollowed out books and rocks.

Be careful at the pharm. There's something to the saying of having
"trustful confidence" that nothing will happen. This is true only if you take
all precautions. (just a guess here - no proof)

Pamela doesn't even carry a purse smhair
Posted 3/15/2009 7:42 PM (GMT -6)
You know I had no idea that there were products like this out there!!! I love the idea that you could hide your scripts inside of a shelf without anyone knowing it actually held your medications LOL!! Good job! I'm going to order one of these


What doesn't kill us only makes us fight back harder! :P

Posted 3/15/2009 8:04 PM (GMT -6)

They do have diversion safes that are quite big. I remember seeing a Quaker Oatmeal container one and I thought it was funny that you brought it up! I am talking the round, tall, cardboard ones that the raw oatmeal comes in, you know?

I do remember seeing diversion safes that were disguised as one gallon paint buckets too. They have so many different kinds, I am sure you could find something that would hold what you need.

They do have shampoo bottles but the bottom unscrews and comes off so you have quite a big opening to put your stuff into.

The following is in regards to everyone, not just Pamela:

Also, one note about purses. Even if someone is not beating you up and stealing your medications or your purse, a lot of people might be surprised by the frequency with which people steal medications from purses. A lot of times it can be the last person they would ever expect to find taking their medications. My only point is that purses are probably one of the first things someone might look in to find medication and there is very little security to keep anyone out; only a zipper.

Fentanyl Patch - 100mcgs x 72 hours
Baclofen - 10mg x 8 hours

Posted 3/16/2009 12:01 AM (GMT -6)
Wow, this is terrifying! Thanks for the warning Kitty! I always worry about someone trying to take my meds, especially being in college. I do have a pretty heavy, and what I thought was secure, lock box. Although, like scrape said, if someone really wanted it, all they would have to do is take the entire thing, but at least it will discourage them. Fortunately, no one other than my roommate is ever in my bedroom & no one knows what I take. A few people, basically just my roommates, know that I take meds, but that's it. They don't know what they are for, other than that they are somehow related to my eye. At home, I'm pretty trustworthy, probably moreso than I should be, but we live in the middle of nowhere, and very rarely do we have company other than immediate family. If I'm home for an extended period of time, I'll have my good lockbox with me. If not, I just use this real dinky thing that was a waste of $15 & then hide that, or sometimes don't even use anything. I always try NOT to keep my meds in my purse as well, because I don't feel like it is very safe for the same reasons - it may get swiped, especially in the area where I go to school! I'll only carry with me as much as I need for the day/the time period in which I am out & about.

I too am concerned about the pharmacy. Not so much about someone being able to see the meds on the counter, as they are always in bags, and the name isn't all that prominent. I'm more worried about someone trying to steal them once I leave the pharmacy. I always tuck them in my jacket, under my arm pit before I leave. I had to switch pharmacies a few months back, because my old mom & pop pharmacy was too expensive under our new insurance plan, and the pharmacy I am forced to go to now is located in the one department store that all the more shady characters tend to hang around. I really dislike this pharmacy & from my limited experience with them already, the pharmacists don't seem to be too helpful or knowledgeable & because I bring scripts in so often due to my multiple meds from several different docs & the fact that most of my pain med scripts only last about 2wks b/c my doc is continually adjusting my meds until l stabilize, are already starting to treat me like a criminal.

Thanks for the great info re: diversion safes, scrape! I've heard of fake books as safes, but I never thought (nor realized how many different types were on the market) of them before! If I go away, I usually only bring exactly enough meds to get me through the trip & keep them in a container other than a pill bottle, and hide them somewhere buried in my luggage at the hotel. I'm definitely going to look into getting one of these safes for travel, or even just for at school!

It is so horrible that we have to worry about these sorts of things! What has the world come to?

Posted 3/16/2009 1:34 AM (GMT -6)
I do need a good lockbox for my meds, but I always forget to buy one, and when I think about it, i'm broke. My dad gave me a lock box from his work a few years ago that I kept my meds and important papers in, but my son took the key off of my keychain and lost the key. I searched hours for that darn key, but couldn't find it, so I took a screw driver, and with hardly any effort at all, I broke the lock off. So if you have one of those cheap lock boxes, I would think twice about them. I remember about 6 years ago, my pain doctor I was seeing at that time had his house broken into by a patient that he dropped for abusing his narcotics, and he took my doctor's lock box out of the wall in his closet, and managed to get it open, and took all his wife's actiq (his wife had cancer) and nobody realized it til he got home from work later that day. So it seems that any kind of lock boxes dont help at all. I beleive this October, Suboxone is suppose to lose it's patent, and the makers of Suboxone is planning on having the meds come out in those weird strips like they have for listerine (and diffrent flavors too, YAY!! the taste of orange peels is really making me sick), now that would make it so easy to hide. Also I heard that they where doing trials on having them put Bupernorphine (the main ingredient in Suboxone) under the skin like they use to for those norplant birthcontrol things that works for up to 6 months (I beleive, I could be wrong about that one) but from what I'm reading, it doesnt look like those are coming ot anytime soon, so that would mean I wouldnt have to worry about any narcotics except for my son's medication, but I havent really heard much about people abusing ritalin type drugs, but I could be wrong, I dont hang out with drug users (except when I'm forced to go to family events). But you guys are right, I need to take my meds out of my purse, but I'm forsure not putting them up with my other meds in the medicine cabinet, they need to go somewhere safe, but I cant afford anything too fancy.


ps, I live in Washington State, not DC
I have Migraines, Pancreatic Divisum, Severe lower back pain (possibly turned to arthiritis from lack of treatment), Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Depression w/Anxiety/panic, had glallbladder stones at 14yrs old, gallbladder removed at 15yrs old, 2 severe car accidents in '05
Meds: Suboxone 8mg 3xday for pain, Cymbalta 60mg @ night for depression & Fibro,
Lyrica @ night for Migraines and Fibro, Treximet as needed for Migraines,
Ventolin Albuterol Inhaler as needed for Asthma Attacks.
Chocolate as needed daily
Been on Diability since I was 22 for Migraines and chronic Pancreatitas but going to college Spring '09 to be a nurse
"Some days I just wish I was a missing person!"
"I'm not spoiled, I deserve all my stuff"  -Happybunny

Posted 3/16/2009 1:44 AM (GMT -6)
I learned from my pharmacist that keeping meds in the medicine cabinet (at least the one in the bathroom) is actually a very bad idea. The reason is the moisture changes in the air that often occur in the bathroom are not good for the meds. I usually have mine in the kitchen, and some in the bedroom. I have a small pill box in my purse that I only put enough for that day in when I'm going out.

Posted 3/16/2009 2:15 AM (GMT -6)
PAlady, sorry thats what I meant, the kitchen cabinet. I would never use the bathroom cabinet, their wouldnt be enough room with all my beautifing stuff. LOL.
I have Migraines, Pancreatic Divisum, Severe lower back pain (possibly turned to arthiritis from lack of treatment), Fibromyalgia, Asthma, Depression w/Anxiety/panic, had glallbladder stones at 14yrs old, gallbladder removed at 15yrs old, 2 severe car accidents in '05
Meds: Suboxone 8mg 3xday for pain, Cymbalta 60mg @ night for depression & Fibro,
Lyrica @ night for Migraines and Fibro, Treximet as needed for Migraines,
Ventolin Albuterol Inhaler as needed for Asthma Attacks.
Chocolate as needed daily
Been on Diability since I was 22 for Migraines and chronic Pancreatitas but going to college Spring '09 to be a nurse
"Some days I just wish I was a missing person!"
"I'm not spoiled, I deserve all my stuff"  -Happybunny

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