When asked to think of a drug addiction, most people automatically think of illegal substances such as cocaine, heroin or marijuana. However, what many often fail to realise is that prescription drug addiction is on the rise and that these drugs can be just as harmful as any illegal substance. It can be difficult to spot a prescription drug addiction; most GPs prescribe this sort of medication for those insisting that they are in intense pain – the GP will often see this as the right thing to do in this situation. Some addicts will pretend that they are in pain, just to obtain more of the drugs that they are addicted to. The warning signs are often missed, and the addiction is not spotted until it is too late. In the case of Kirsty Taylor-Jaine, for example, her addiction was only brought to light when she was caught forging signatures of GPs in the workplace so that she could obtain prescription drugs to feed her severe addiction.

Abused her Power

Taylor-Jaine was found guilty of printing prescriptions and forging GPs signatures in her place of work so that she could have access to prescription drugs to which she was addicted. Leicester Crown Court heard how she abused her power for three years on 74 occasions between April 2013 and April 2016. Prosecuting barrister Priya Bakshi explained how the accused had searched on the surgery’s computer database to find patients who had the particular drug on their records and generated new prescriptions without their knowledge, which she would then use herself.

Discovered

The deception was only discovered when a patient requested a repeat prescription from a different staff member who discovered that there had already been one issued in the patient’s name, which resulted in an enquiry taking place. Taylor-Jaine’s role as a note summariser did not include printing prescriptions. She was handed an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to complete 210 hours of unpaid work after she pleaded guilty to all charges put against her.

“What You Did Was Dreadful”

Judge Philip Head acknowledged that her actions were the result of a prescription drug addiction that had consumed her life. Speaking directly to Taylor-Jaine, he said, “You worked for several years rising in seniority and responsibility at Ibstock Surgery. What you did was dreadful. You broke the trust of the position that you were in to access the surgery computer, searching for people who had co-codamol prescriptions, printing them off, forging doctors’ signatures and then presenting them to obtain co-codamol. I express some concern that it wasn’t picked up for three years. It raises issues of internal auditing, but that’s not a direct concern of the courts.”

Active Efforts to Turn Life Around

He also added, “You’ve been taking active efforts to turn your life around. I’m satisfied you’re someone who has learnt a terrible lesson and taken steps to put things right. It’s serious because of the breach of trust; involving drugs in a doctors’ surgery.”

He told her that he was imposing the unpaid work as he was certain that she could do ‘useful things to pay the debt to the public that you incurred by your offending’. Mitigating barrister, Katya Saudek commented, “If anyone has learned their lesson, then it’s her.”

Unnoticed Addiction

So many prescription drug addictions go unnoticed as the addict can often obtain the drug he or she is addicted to by pretending to be in severe pain to their GP, who will prescribe the drug in an effort to relieve the pain being experienced. As prescription drugs are legal, many people think that they will not develop an addiction to them; however, the chances of an individual developing a prescription drug addiction are high and the longer he or she abuses these drugs, the more likely he/she will become addicted.

Concerns

If you have concerns about a loved one and think that this person may be suffering from a prescription drug addiction, then contact us here at Liberty House. Our dedicated staff will do everything they can to ensure that the individual overcomes his or her addiction and feels as safe and comfortable as possible in our clinic. It is normal to feel frightened or nervous about recovery, but it is our duty to ensure that you feel relaxed here. We want you to know that if you need anything at all, our staff are on hand at all times. If you have any further queries or would like any other information, then please, do not hesitate to contact us today and we would be more than happy to assist you in any way that we can.

Source:  Doctor’s surgery employee forged GPs’ signatures to feed painkiller addiction (Leicester Mercury)