2006-11-03

Lay off the narcotics

Someone tried to obtain oxycodone with a fake prescription yesterday from CVS Pharmacy at the Beechwood Shopping Center, according to Athens-Clarke County Police. This pharmacy had been alerted by another pharmacy, so they called the police when this person showed up. He was still in the pharmacy when they arrived, so he was arrested.

I used to work as a store clerk at that CVS, and I was aware that the pharmacists were on the lookout for forged prescriptions. One time a forger got away when they called the police because he or she saw them come through the front door before the pharmacist could talk to the police and identify the person.

One day I was asked to be ready to call the police on a forger, and I was to ask them to come to the back door in order to be able to surprise the suspect. We had a code prepared: The pharmacist would announce through the intercom, "Customer service on line four." Yes, just like in Chuck Palahniuk's book "Choke," there actually are secret codes given over intercoms.

Well, nothing happened that day, so I didn't get to see any action. Not needing police action in your store is a good thing, though. However, a couple of weeks later a pharmacist really did announce, "Customer service, line four." I called back there and asked if they needed help, and they said no. It turns out there really was a line four, and it really needed customer service, even though I thought there were only three lines.

I imagine it's pretty hard to get narcotics with a forged prescription. The doctor has to write some kind of Drug Enforcement Agency number on the prescription for certain drugs, so there might be a lot of clues for a pharmacist to check.

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