I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.

Friday, March 2, 2018

What Do You Do When Your Friend is Stealing and Abusing Your Prescription Pain Meds?

What would you do if you found out your friend was stealing your prescription pain meds for many months running?

What a difficult situation.  And then to complicate it--nobody does anything about it when it is reported.

What a conundrum.

Here is what I was told by a constituent(names and other information redacted).  Now I'm not a cop and I'm not a psychologist--I'm just a commissioner.  But I have a response for this constituent and below her email is my response.....

"I came to the XXXXXXXXXXXX to file a report @ catching a thief in my car back in December. Yes, I know they can't do anything now but I wanted to at least to give a sworn statement & have it on record because since me coming out on XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX, 5 other people have also come forward with similar stories surrounding this person. I was told no,  it was too late to file a report. .  
This has caused me great concern & I'm worried not just for my own safety but the new people in XXXXXXXX who see this person on XXXXXXXXXXXXx & believe XXXXXXX represents us. XXXXXX does present well by XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX & is vocal XXXXXXXXXXXXX. But XXXXXX is staining the values we represent in the XXXXXXXXXXXX& I don't want anyone else to be a victim. 
XXXXXX was my friend & I knew XXXXXXXhad a problem with XXXXXXXX but to see XXXXXX in my vehicle digging through my purse XXXXXXXXXXX devastated me. I had been missing pills from my prescription bottles for months but couldn't figure out who it was or when it could've happened. Every month they kept going missing - first just 5 or 6, then 10-15. I didn't report it right then & there because and only because i was in shock. Our kids were there & I just wanted to get out of there. 
Fast forward 2 months later at XXXXXXXXXX. I'm talking to one of our XXXXXXXXXXX & I confide in him about what had happened. He tells me I'm not the 1st person that this had happened to. So I dug a little more and asked a few more questions to a few more XXXXXXXXX people & got the same answers. I posted a very vague,  but obvious to the victims, description of what happened to me & I got 3 messages privately telling me same stories. 
So at that point I figured XXXXXXXXX has a problem community member that needs to be on watch.

 I thought with the crackdown on prescription abuse SOMEONE would want to talk to me since I know what and how this person is doing it. But no, I guess not! 
 Just really upsets me because people with legitimate pain issues like myself who suffer from a debilitating XXXXXXXXX had to fight tooth and nail to get into a doctor to get a prescription yet someone like this can abuse XXXXXXX steal from others including XXXXXXXXXr and get away with it.

I hope you can provide some insight or maybe help me get this reported to the right person in the sheriff's office. We don't want this kind of person in our neighborhood."

My Response...

Thank you for this frank and candid narrative of what sounds like a very troubling problem.  I want to be careful about what is posted here, because XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX.  I am not a Law Enforcement officer—but I do know a little bit about the law due to what my brother does and due to the fact that we talk about issues on almost a daily basis.

It sounds to me as if this individual is an addict.  XXXXXXX needs help.  Someone (hopefully a friend or family member) will conduct an intervention—this sounds necessary to me based upon what you are saying here.

If this behavior continues—it could have disastrous consequences for this individual.  What I know is that Florida has cracked down on prescription medicine abuse, instituting stiff minimum mandatory sentences for individuals caught with even small amounts of prescription meds for which these individuals do not hold a valid prescription.

If XXXXXXXXXXXXX won’t investigate this, I suggest you call the XXXXXXXXXX and tell them everything you know—they WILL do something about it I would suspect.

Good luck and please let me know if I can help in any way.  The best thing you can do is help your friend, talk to someone who will intervene or else this person will get caught, and XXXXXXX will go to state prison for a long time and the judge won’t have any discretion at all due to minimum sentencing guidelines in effect currently.


Jeff Bergosh
Escambia Board of County Commissioners
221 Palafox Place Suite 400
Pensacola, FL 32502
850-595-4910 office
850-377-2209 Voicemail

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