I had a patient the other day with a problem. The patient lived in an assisted living facility, used a walker for mobility and had constant pain. I walked in to view an empty bottle with the label of a rather strong pain medicine. The date on the bottle was about 2 weeks prior to me seeing it. This means it cannot be refilled for another two weeks. For a good part of the visit, we discussed possibilities to deal with a new pain medicine bottle once obtained, and how to tolerate the pain until such a time as the medicine could be refilled. Once medicine has been stolen, the doctors and pharmacists are not at liberty to refill as it appears the patient is supplying the street trade. So what do you call someone who steals pain medicine from an old, retired, walker-using individual? I was thinking snail scum. My boss said that was too good. I looked it up to discover snail scum does have some uses, so I have to agree with my boss.

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